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April 03, 2014

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7:06 PM | Re-Analysis and Death in Iron Age Britain
Re-analysis is an interesting phenomenon in archaeology. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on the collection and type of materials. Re-analysis is exactly what […]

Armit, I., Neale, N., Shapland, F., Bosworth, H., Hamilton, D. & Mckenzie, J. (2013). The Ins and Outs of Death in the Iron Age: Complex Funerary Treatments at Broxmouth Hillfort, East Lothian, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 32 (1) 73-100. DOI:

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4:39 PM | New Anode and Cathode Materials to Improve Li-Ion Batteries
Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have improved the performance and capacity of lithium batteries by developing better-performing, cheaper anode and cathode materials for use in anodes and cathodes (negative and positive electrodes, respectively). Read more »

Ge, M., Lu, Y., Ercius, P., Rong, J., Fang, X., Mecklenburg, M. & Zhou, C. (2014). Large-Scale Fabrication, 3D Tomography, and Lithium-Ion Battery Application of Porous Silicon, Nano Letters, 14 (1) 261-268. DOI:

Rong, J., Ge, M., Fang, X. & Zhou, C. (2014). Solution Ionic Strength Engineering As a Generic Strategy to Coat Graphene Oxide (GO) on Various Functional Particles and Its Application in High-Performance Lithium–Sulfur (Li–S) Batteries, Nano Letters, 14 (2) 473-479. DOI:

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3:16 PM | Iron, Carbon May Replace Platinum as PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts
A research team from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has discovered a new type of iron and carbon-based catalyst, which is stable and active in both acidic and alkaline media, and may even eliminate the need for platinum in catalysts and thus revolutionize the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell industry. Read more »

Hu, Y., Jensen, J., Zhang, W., Cleemann, L., Xing, W., Bjerrum, N. & Li, Q. (2014). Inside Back Cover: Hollow Spheres of Iron Carbide Nanoparticles Encased in Graphitic Layers as Oxygen Reduction Catalysts (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 14/2014), Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53 (14) 3749-3749. DOI:

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8:20 AM | New life for naltrexone and autism?
During the very earliest days of the life of this blog I posted about the opiate antagonist naltrexone (ReVia®) and some research on its history with autism in mind; in particular, the various emerging speculations on low dose naltrexone (LDN) (see here). Today I'm following up that entry based on the results of a systematic review by Ashok Roy and colleagues [1] on the value (or not) of naltrexone for "attenuating the core symptoms of autism spectrum conditions in […]

Roy A, Roy M, Deb S, Unwin G & Roy A (2014). Are opioid antagonists effective in attenuating the core symptoms of autism spectrum conditions in children: a systematic review., Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR, PMID:

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April 02, 2014

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9:34 PM | Nanoporous silicon a promising material for next-generation lithium-ion batteries
Tiny batteries for your cell phone or camera that can hold days of charge?  Although it may seem like fantasy, this is the goal for researchers looking into new materials for lithium (Li) – ion batteries.  Current state-of-the-art technology uses … Continue reading →

Ge, M., Lu, Y., Ercius, P., Rong, J., Fang, X., Mecklenburg, M. & Zhou, C. (2014). Large-Scale Fabrication, 3D Tomography, and Lithium-Ion Battery Application of Porous Silicon, Nano Letters, 14 (1) 261-268. DOI:

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8:07 PM | Live 3-D X-ray video of a fly’s muscles in mid-flight
Flies are incredibly agile on the wing, pulling off twists and turns that outstrip anything we’ve accomplished. Their flight is …Continue reading →

Walker, S., Schwyn, D., Mokso, R., Wicklein, M., Müller, T., Doube, M., Stampanoni, M., Krapp, H. & Taylor, G. (2014). In Vivo Time-Resolved Microtomography Reveals the Mechanics of the Blowfly Flight Motor, PLoS Biology, 12 (3) DOI:

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7:30 PM | Using More Wood for Construction Can Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption
A Yale University-led study has found that using more wood and less steel and concrete in building and bridge construction would substantially reduce fossil fuel consumption and global carbon dioxide emissions. Read more »

Oliver, C., Nassar, N., Lippke, B. & McCarter, J. (2014). Carbon, Fossil Fuel, and Biodiversity Mitigation With Wood and Forests, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 33 (3) 248-275. DOI:

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5:38 PM | Science in the News: World Autism Awareness Day
Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and was marked by a beautiful video from the UN secretary (with a little help from his friends) explaining why it’s so important that we […]

Chen J, Alberts I & Li X (2014). Dysregulation of the IGF-I/PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in autism spectrum disorders., International journal of developmental neuroscience : the official journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience, PMID:

Li, X., Zou, H. & Brown, W. (2012). Genes associated with autism spectrum disorder, Brain Research Bulletin, 88 (6) 543-552. DOI:

Hallmayer, J. (2011). Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism, Archives of General Psychiatry, 68 (11) 1095. DOI:

Goyal DK & Miyan JA (2014). Neuro-Immune Abnormalities in Autism and Their Relationship with the Environment: A Variable Insult Model for Autism., Frontiers in endocrinology, 5 29. PMID:

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4:00 PM | The Tenets of Tauists
For the labs working tirelessly to understand the underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease, there are often two camps: BAPtists and tau-ists.  The former subscribe to the beta amyloid cascade hypothesis that […]

Frost B., Hemberg M., Lewis J. & Feany M.B. (2014). Tau promotes neurodegeneration through global chromatin relaxation, Nature Neuroscience, 17 (3) 357-366. DOI:

Maruyama M., Shimada H., Suhara T., Shinotoh H., Ji B., Maeda J., Zhang M.R., Trojanowski J., Lee V.Y. & Ono M. & (2013). Imaging of Tau Pathology in a Tauopathy Mouse Model and in Alzheimer Patients Compared to Normal Controls, Neuron, 79 (6) 1094-1108. DOI:

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2:01 PM | Scientists Get Closer to Artificial Photosynthesis
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University have found a way to imitate Photosystem II, the first protein complex in the long chain of reactions that use energy from the sun to create usable fuel. The result was reported in the journal Nature Chemistry (see footnote). Read more »

Megiatto Jr, J., Méndez-Hernández, D., Tejeda-Ferrari, M., Teillout, A., Llansola-Portolés, M., Kodis, G., Poluektov, O., Rajh, T., Mujica, V., Groy, T. & Gust, D. (2014). A bioinspired redox relay that mimics radical interactions of the Tyr–His pairs of photosystem II, Nature Chemistry, DOI:

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1:37 PM | Video Tip of the Week: EuPathDB
I love pathogens and parasites. Really, I do. I mean–not up very close. But their astonishing range and cleverness often earns my respect. How these small organisms can wreak havoc on larger systems, inveigle the larger organisms to fly, carry, or ship them around during appropriate points in their life cycle, and to cloak themselves […]

Aurrecoechea C., Brestelli J., Brunk B.P., Fischer S., Gajria B., Gao X., Gingle A., Grant G., Harb O.S. & Heiges M. & (2009). EuPathDB: a portal to eukaryotic pathogen databases, Nucleic Acids Research, 38 (Database) D415-D419. DOI:

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12:56 PM | Medicine goes under the Needle
Tattoo artists may soon be faced with the prospect of a career change into the world of medicine thanks to the revelation that tattooing technology can be effectively applied in […]

Bins AD, Jorritsma A, Wolkers MC, Hung CF, Wu TC, Schumacher TN & Haanen JB (2005). A rapid and potent DNA vaccination strategy defined by in vivo monitoring of antigen expression., Nature medicine, 11 (8) 899-904. PMID:

Shio MT, Paquet M, Martel C, Bosschaerts T, Stienstra S, Olivier M & Fortin A (2014). Drug delivery by tattooing to treat cutaneous leishmaniasis., Scientific reports, 4 4156. PMID:

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Editor's Pick
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12:30 PM | How About that Doggy at the Hair Salon?
Can we speed up the process of re-homing shelter dogs by getting the dog out of the shelter and into the community?Photo: AdamEdwards / ShutterstockEvery year, many dogs find new homes through animal rescues and shelters, but some have a long wait and many are never re-homed.  What if there was a way to free up shelter space and encourage people who would not visit the shelter to adopt? A new paper by Heather Mohan-Gibbons et al (2014) assesses the success of a scheme in which dogs were […]

Mohan-Gibbons, H., Weiss, E., Garrison, L. & Allison, M. (2014). Evaluation of a Novel Dog Adoption Program in Two US Communities, PLoS ONE, 9 (3) DOI:

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12:00 PM | It’s Not Just Chili Peppers That Are Hot
Biology concepts – cinnamaldehyde, nasal hyperreactivity, piperine, allyl isothiocyanate, eugenol, gingerol, tinyatoxin, osmotic stress, agonist/antagonistThe last few years have seen the rise and fall of The Cinnamon Challenge. I can’t tell you why it came, but I can explain why it went. And the reason relates to the capsaicin receptors we have been talking about.Don’t think cinnamon candy can be hot. Your unbearably hot cinnamon bears from Jelly Belly and your Atomic […]

Holland C, van Drunen C, Denyer J, Smart K, Segboer C, Terreehorst I, Newlands A, Beerahee M, Fokkens W & Tsitoura DC & (2013). Inhibition of capsaicin-driven nasal hyper-reactivity by SB-705498, a TRPV1 antagonist., British journal of clinical pharmacology, PMID:

Chung G, Im ST, Kim YH, Jung SJ, Rhyu MR & Oh SB (2014). Activation of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 by eugenol., Neuroscience, 261 153-60. PMID:

Alpizar YA, Boonen B, Gees M, Sanchez A, Nilius B, Voets T & Talavera K (2014). Allyl isothiocyanate sensitizes TRPV1 to heat stimulation., Pflugers Archiv : European journal of physiology, 466 (3) 507-15. PMID:

Ciura S, Liedtke W & Bourque CW (2011). Hypertonicity sensing in organum vasculosum lamina terminalis neurons: a mechanical process involving TRPV1 but not TRPV4., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31 (41) 14669-76. PMID:

Sudbury JR, Ciura S, Sharif-Naeini R & Bourque CW (2010). Osmotic and thermal control of magnocellular neurosecretory neurons--role of an N-terminal variant of trpv1., The European journal of neuroscience, 32 (12) 2022-30. PMID:

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11:07 AM | Attempts to reintroduce an endangered bird species to the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil
Long-term monitoring is key to determining if the reintroduction of captive-bred red-billed curassows is to be a success.  At first glance, the reintroduction of wildlife to its natural habitat appears to be a relatively straightforward process. A sufficient number of individuals of a species is simply released into a suitable area with the expectation that […]

Bernardo C. S. S. & Locke N. (2014). Reintroduction of red-billed curassow Crax blumenbachii to Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve, Brazil, Conservation Evidence, 11 7-7. Other: Link

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4:34 AM | The Connection Between Conspiracy Theories and Ambivalence
It’s a good time to be in the conspiracy theory business, and not just because the birthplace of the U.S. President has been verified only 72 times. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to track down potentially suspicious information and discuss it with like-minded gumshoes. While certain people may be predisposed to believing in certain kinds […]

van Harreveld, F., Rutjens, B., Schneider, I., Nohlen, H. & Keskinis, K. (2014). In Doubt and Disorderly: Ambivalence Promotes Compensatory Perceptions of Order., Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, DOI:

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4:29 AM | OYM28: Untangling HSPs Genetic Network
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: It’s amazing how much a disrupted schedule can affect productivity.  This week, Liam and Kat have had their sleep patterns turned upside down for one reason or another and are dealing with the repercussions.  In Liam’s case that means working in the lab until the early ...read more The post OYM28: Untangling HSPs Genetic Network appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.

Novarino G, Fenstermaker AG, Zaki MS, Hofree M, Silhavy JL, Heiberg AD, Abdellateef M, Rosti B, Scott E, Mansour L & Masri A (2014). Exome sequencing links corticospinal motor neuron disease to common neurodegenerative disorders., Science (New York, N.Y.), 343 (6170) 506-11. PMID:

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April 01, 2014

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10:17 PM | Time Rolls On, Even Without Memory
A fascinating paper asks what one man with no memory – and no regrets – can really teach us about time: Individuals With Episodic Amnesia Are Not Stuck In Time. Researchers Car Craver and colleagues describe the case of “KC”, a former “roadie for rock bands, prone to drinking and occasional rash behavior” who suffered […]The post Time Rolls On, Even Without Memory appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Craver CF, Kwan D, Steindam C & Rosenbaum RS (2014). Individuals With Episodic Amnesia Are Not Stuck In Time, Neuropsychologia, PMID:

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Editor's Pick
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7:05 PM | This Month In Blastocystis Research (MAR 2014)
If there's one paper that really made my eye balls pop over the past 30 days, it's the paper appearing a couple of days ago in BMC Infectious Diseases by Safadi et al. on Blastocystis in a cohort of Senegalese children. The paper is open access and can be downloaded here. But I'll be jumping right at it:A 100% prevalence of Blastocystis in a cohort of 93 Senegalese children! The children represented a mixed group of children with and without symptoms. And yes, they were all […]

El Safadi D, Gaayeb L, Meloni D, Cian A, Poirier P, Wawrzyniak I, Delbac F, Dabboussi F, Delhaes L, Seck M & Hamze M (2014). Children of Senegal River Basin show the highest prevalence of Blastocystis sp. ever observed worldwide., BMC infectious diseases, 14 (1) 164. PMID:

Stensvold CR (2013). Comparison of sequencing (barcode region) and sequence-tagged-site PCR for Blastocystis subtyping., Journal of clinical microbiology, 51 (1) 190-4. PMID:

Stensvold CR (2013). Blastocystis: Genetic diversity and molecular methods for diagnosis and epidemiology., Tropical parasitology, 3 (1) 26-34. PMID:

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6:14 PM | Hybrid Cars More Fuel-Efficient in China, India Than in U.S.
What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in—heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways—makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Read more »

Saxena, S., Phadke, A. & Gopal, A. (2014). Understanding the fuel savings potential from deploying hybrid cars in China, Applied Energy, 113 1127-1133. DOI:

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4:58 PM | Perovskite Solar Cell Doubles as Laser
Earlier this month we reported on a new perovskite solar cell that can also work as a light panel. Now, researchers from Professor Sir Richard Friend’s group at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory—working with Snaith’s Oxford group—have demonstrated that perovskite cells can also be used to produce cheap lasers. Read more »

Deschler, F., Price, M., Pathak, S., Klintberg, L., Jarausch, D., Higler, R., Huettner, S., Leijtens, T., Stranks, S., Snaith, H. & Atature, M. (2014). High Photoluminescence Efficiency and Optically-Pumped Lasing in Solution-Processed Mixed Halide Perovskite Semiconductors, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2147483647. DOI:

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4:22 PM | Researchers find a better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells
Prof Fei Wang (left), scholar Qiuhao Qu (center)  andengineering professor Jianjun ChengResearchers reported today that they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed.The finding, described in Nature Communications, will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).The new method involves adding […]

Qu Q, Li D, Louis KR, Li X, Yang H, Sun Q, Crandall SR, Tsang S, Zhou J, Cox CL & Cheng J (2014). High-efficiency motor neuron differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells and the function of Islet-1., Nature communications, 5 3449. PMID:

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3:33 PM | Eyeless Fish Navigates with Mouth Suction
As bats squeak and swoop through pitch-black Mexican caves, the pale fish that inhabit the pools below them perform a soundless imitation. These fish are blind but sense the world through subtle pressure changes on their skin. To navigate the cave floors, they also use a tool that’s never been observed in another animal: the […]The post Eyeless Fish Navigates with Mouth Suction appeared first on Inkfish.

Holzman R, Perkol-Finkel S & Zilman G (2014). Mexican blind cavefish use mouth suction to detect obstacles., The Journal of experimental biology, PMID:

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March 31, 2014

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9:36 PM | Trust the “trust hormone”? Oxytocin can increase deceit
Oxytocin has perhaps the best reputation of any molecule on the planet. In a culture of chemophobia where any compound is fair game for attack, oxytocin has been heralded as “The Source of Love and Prosperity“. If you listen to the tales, this “moral” molecule—the “trust hormone“—is the “most amazing molecule in the world,” and […]The post Trust the “trust hormone”? Oxytocin can increase deceit appeared first on […]

Shalvia S. & De Dreub C. (2014). Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty , PNAS, DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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9:04 PM | Don’t stress out your testicles!
You probably don’t need science to tell you that when you’re stressed out you’re not likely to be in the mood. But can stress cause physical damage to your reproductive cells? A study published this month in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that it just might. Rats aren’t all that different from people. They … Continue reading →

Hou G, Xiong W, Wang M, Chen X & Yuan TF (2014). Chronic stress influences sexual motivation and causes damage to testicular cells in male rats., The journal of sexual medicine, 11 (3) 653-63. PMID:

Almeida SA, Kempinas WG & Lamano Carvalho TL (2000). Sexual behavior and fertility of male rats submitted to prolonged immobilization-induced stress., Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofisica ... [et al.], 33 (9) 1105-9. PMID:

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8:15 PM | Multilayered Waveguide Array Opens New Possibilities in Solar Power
A new study by researchers at the University at Buffalo explores the use of a nanoscale microchip component called a “multilayered waveguide taper array” that improves the chip’s ability to trap and absorb light. Read more »

Ji, D., Song, H., Zeng, X., Hu, H., Liu, K., Zhang, N. & Gan, Q. (2014). Broadband absorption engineering of hyperbolic metafilm patterns, Scientific Reports, 4 DOI:

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7:50 PM | Major breakthrough in stem cell manufacturing technology
Kevin ShakesheffCreditCell therapy is an exciting and rapidly developing area of medicine in which stem cells have the potential to repair human tissue and maintain organ function in chronic disease and age-related illnesses. But a major problem with translating current successful research into actual products and treatments is how to mass-produce such a complex living material.There are two distinct phases in the production of stem cell products; proliferation (making enough cells to form […]

Dixon, J., Shah, D., Rogers, C., Hall, S., Weston, N., Parmenter, C., McNally, D., Denning, C. & Shakesheff, K. (2014). Combined hydrogels that switch human pluripotent stem cells from self-renewal to differentiation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

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7:23 PM | Preserving fertility in boys with cancer
Hooman Sadri-ArdekaniResearchers have moved a step closer to being able to preserve fertility in young boys who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. The new research, published in Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, addresses the safety of an option scientists are developing for boys who aren't sexually mature and cannot bank sperm.Scientists aim to freeze a sample of the boys' testicular tissue so that when they reach […]

Sadri-Ardekani H, Homburg CH, van Capel TM, van den Berg H, van der Veen F, van der Schoot CE, van Pelt AM & Repping S (2014). Eliminating acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells from human testicular cell cultures: a pilot study., Fertility and sterility, PMID:

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5:53 PM | Researchers Gain Insight Into Organic Solar Cell Efficiency
Research from North Carolina State University reveals that organic solar cell efficiency is based upon a delicate balance between the size and purity of the interior layers, or domains. These findings may lead to better designs and improved performance in organic solar cells. Read more »

Ma, W., Tumbleston, J., Ye, L., Wang, C., Hou, J. & Ade, H. (2014). Quantification of Nano- and Mesoscale Phase Separation and Relation to Donor and Acceptor Quantum Efficiency, Jsc, and FF in Polymer:Fullerene Solar Cells, Advanced Materials, DOI:

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11:52 AM | Dutch Men are not Nordic Men
There are reasons to appreciate Hanna Rosin’s ‘The End of Men’: it was pleasantly written, contains various entertaining anecdotes, and holds an attractive promise of increased gender equality – although, to trumpet the demise of men (to paraphrase page 285) might be somewhat less desirable. It would have made for a relevant book, were it… Continue Reading

Philip Cohen (2013). The “End of Men” Is Not True: What Is Not and What Might Be on the Road Toward Gender Equality, BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1159-1184. Other: Link

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