Posts

January 17, 2015

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7:34 PM | On the Seven Sins of Memory with Daniel Schacter
What exactly is a memory? How much do we know about the processes that a human brain executes to store and retrieve a memory? An individual memory may contain different elements such as explicit information, one or many contexts, relevant emotions; does the brain pre-process all individual elements of a memory and then stores this […]

(2001). The seven sins of memory: how the mind forgets and remembers, Choice Reviews Online, 39 (04) 39-2484-39-2484. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/choice.39-2484

Schacter Daniel L. (1996). Searching for memory: the brain, the mind, and the past, Choice Reviews Online, 34 (04) 34-34. DOI: 10.5860/CHOICE.34-2465

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7:18 PM | Pythagoras theorem could improve patient care
Triangles, few of us have ever thought of a relationship between health care and triangles. Most of us will remember Pythagoras theorem from our school days, but rarely have a reason to use it in day-to-day life. Well for Doctors that might change, a team of medical researchers has found the 2,500-year-old Pythagoras theorem could be the […]

Froud, R. & Abel, G. (2014). Using ROC Curves to Choose Minimally Important Change Thresholds when Sensitivity and Specificity Are Valued Equally: The Forgotten Lesson of Pythagoras. Theoretical Considerations and an Example Application of Change in Health Status, PLoS ONE, 9 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114468

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10:25 AM | What can physical activity do for ADHD?
In answer to the question posed in the title of this post, I might refer you to the paper by Susanne Ziereis & Petra Jansen [1] who concluded that results of their research study looking at the impact of two 12-week training programs "support the hypothesis that long-term PA [physical activity] has a positive effect on executive functions of children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]."That's the funny thing about birthdays, they're kind of an annual […]

Ziereis S & Jansen P (2015). Effects of physical activity on executive function and motor performance in children with ADHD., Research in developmental disabilities, 38C 181-191. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25561359

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January 16, 2015

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8:41 PM | New genetic clues in fragile x syndrome
Scientists have gained new insight into fragile X syndrome — the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability — by studying the case of a person without the disorder, but with two of its classic symptoms. In patients with fragile X, a key gene is completely disabled, eliminating a protein that regulates electrical signals in […]

Myrick LK, Deng PY, Hashimoto H, Oh YM, Cho Y, Poidevin MJ, Suhl JA, Visootsak J, Cavalli V, Jin P & Cheng X (2015). Independent role for presynaptic FMRP revealed by an FMR1 missense mutation associated with intellectual disability and seizures., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25561520

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6:50 PM | Breaking Research: Fruit flies help uncover the brain’s link between sleep and memory
Researchers at Brandeis University have found that the link between sleep and memory is stronger than we thought. It is well known that sleep is important for learning and memory, and many people can attest to having a hard time focusing and remembering things after a bad night’s sleep. Students often receive advice about getting […]

Haynes P.R. & Leslie C Griffith (2015). A single pair of neurons links sleep to memory consolidation in Drosophila melanogaster , eLife, 4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/elife.03868

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12:39 PM | Anteprima recensione: Annhilator e il buco nero di Fraser Irving
Questa volta estraggo, ma non come screenshot, una parte della recensione di "Annihilator", ultimo fumetto di Grant Morrison che sta arrivando in Italia a ridosso dell'edizione originaleI conigli sono degli animali estremamente prolifici, quasi leggendari nel loro tasso di riproduzione, tanto che Leonardo Fibonacci proprio grazie a questi simpatici roditori scoprì la serie che oggi porta il suo nome: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 e così via, e dove ogni numero è la somma dei due […]

Vogel H. (1979). A better way to construct the sunflower head, Mathematical Biosciences, 44 (3-4) 179-189. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0025-5564(79)90080-4

Mack D.R. (1990). The magical Fibonacci number, IEEE Potentials, 9 (3) 34-35. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/45.101398

Antonucci R. (1993). Unified Models for Active Galactic Nucle and Quasars, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 31 (1) 473-521. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.aa.31.090193.002353

Urry C.M. (1995). Unified Schemes for Radio-Loud Active Galactic Nuclei, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 107 803. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/133630

Ferrarese L. (2000). A Fundamental Relation between Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies, The Astrophysical Journal, 539 (1) L9-L12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/312838

Hamaus N., Paumard T., Müller T., Gillessen S., Eisenhauer F., Trippe S. & Genzel R. (2009). Prospects for testing the nature of Sgr A*'s near-infrared flares on the basis of current very large telescope - and future very large telescope interferometer - observations, The Astrophysical Journal, 692 (1) 902-916. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/692/1/902

Gravett P. (2008). De Luca and Hamlet: Thinking Outside the Box, European Comic Art, 1 (1) 21-36. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3828/eca.1.1.3

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9:52 AM | The gut and 15q Duplication Syndrome
"The results indicate that GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms are common in Dup15q syndrome and may have an atypical presentation."Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's monster. And I'm looking for my creator.That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Elias Shaaya and colleagues [1] following a review of medical records for a small-ish group of participants diagnosed with chromosome 15q duplication syndrome (dup15q syndrome), a genetic condition "involving copy number gains of the […]

Shaaya, E., Pollack, S., Boronat, S., Davis-Cooper, S., Zella, G. & Thibert, R. (2015). Gastrointestinal Problems in 15q Duplication Syndrome, European Journal of Medical Genetics, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.12.012

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6:46 AM | Lower Mortality Rates Among Asian and Hispanic Lupus Patients
A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts reveals that Asian and Hispanic patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have lower mortality rates compared to Black, White, or Native Americans with the disease. Findings published in Arthritis & Rheumatology,a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), indicate that the […] The post Lower Mortality Rates Among Asian and Hispanic Lupus Patients appeared first on Wiley […]

Gómez-Puerta, J., Barbhaiya, M., Guan, H., Feldman, C., Alarcόn, G. & Costenbader, K. (2014). Racial/Ethnic variation in all-cause mortality among U.S. medicaid recipients with systemic lupus erythematosus: An Hispanic and asian paradox, Arthritis & Rheumatology, DOI: 10.1002/art.38981

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6:46 AM | Lower Mortality Rates Among Asian and Hispanic Lupus Patients
A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts reveals that Asian and Hispanic patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have lower mortality rates compared to Black, White, or Native Americans with the disease. Findings published in Arthritis & Rheumatology,a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), indicate that the […] The post Lower Mortality Rates Among Asian and Hispanic Lupus Patients appeared first on Wiley […]

Gómez-Puerta, J., Barbhaiya, M., Guan, H., Feldman, C., Alarcόn, G. & Costenbader, K. (2014). Racial/Ethnic variation in all-cause mortality among U.S. medicaid recipients with systemic lupus erythematosus: An Hispanic and asian paradox, Arthritis & Rheumatology, DOI: 10.1002/art.38981

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January 15, 2015

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8:30 PM | Why are American Atheists Disagreeable and Unconscientious?
There’s a popular model of personality that splits it into five components: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. And it’s well known that, while atheists tend to score high on openness, they tend to get low scores on conscientiousness and agreeableness. Back in 2010, Vincent Saroglou and colleagues assembled data from all the [Read More...]

Gebauer, J., Bleidorn, W., Gosling, S., Rentfrow, P., Lamb, M. & Potter, J. (2014). Cross-cultural variations in Big Five relationships with religiosity: A sociocultural motives perspective., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107 (6) 1064-1091. DOI: 10.1037/a0037683

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8:30 PM | Why are American Atheists Disagreeable and Unconscientious?
There’s a popular model of personality that splits it into five components: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. And it’s well known that, while atheists tend to score high on openness, they tend to get low scores on conscientiousness and agreeableness. Back in 2010, Vincent Saroglou and colleagues assembled data from all the [Read More...]

Gebauer, J., Bleidorn, W., Gosling, S., Rentfrow, P., Lamb, M. & Potter, J. (2014). Cross-cultural variations in Big Five relationships with religiosity: A sociocultural motives perspective., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107 (6) 1064-1091. DOI: 10.1037/a0037683

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7:25 PM | Scientists use the brain to direct fat burning
Does it seem like no matter what you do, you still can’t shed the pounds? You know what to eat, how to eat and workout regularly, but the weight just won’t go away, well you may not be alone. There are many different medical conditions that limit your ability to lose weight, but thankfully science has […]

Dodd, G., Decherf, S., Loh, K., Simonds, S., Wiede, F., Balland, E., Merry, T., Münzberg, H., Zhang, Z., Kahn, B. & Neel, B. (2015). Leptin and Insulin Act on POMC Neurons to Promote the Browning of White Fat, Cell, 160 (1-2) 88-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.12.022

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2:02 PM | Trepanation! Not Just For Headaches: Tibial Surgery in Ancient Peru
Over the past two years, I’ve been commuting from my home to my university. It’s about an hour drive each way (unless it’s snowing, and then it could be two […]

Toyne, J. (2015). Tibial surgery in ancient Peru, International Journal of Paleopathology, 8 29-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.09.002

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2:00 PM | Fixing ‘Leaky’ Blood Vessels in Severe Respiratory Ailments and Ebola
When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, […]

Gong, H., Rehman, J., Tang, H., Wary, K., Mittal, M., Chatturvedi, P., Zhao, Y., Komorova, Y., Vogel, S. & Malik, A. & (2015). HIF2α signaling inhibits adherens junctional disruption in acute lung injury, Journal of Clinical Investigation, DOI: 10.1172/JCI77701

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10:10 AM | Maternal thyroid autoantibody and offspring autism risk
I have, on this blog, previously mentioned the paper by Alan Brown and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "The prevalence of maternal TPO-Ab+ [thyroid peroxidase antibody] was significantly increased in pregnancies giving rise to autism cases (6.15%) compared to controls (3.54%)." It was during some discussion on the suggested diagnosis of Down syndrome disintegrative disorder (see here) and the idea that some signs and symptoms of regressive autism (?) might overlap with TPO antibodies […]

Brown, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Cheslack-Postava, K., Bao, Y. & Sourander, A. (2015). Maternal thyroid autoantibody and elevated risk of autism in a national birth cohort, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 57 86-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.10.010

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7:30 AM | Mts. Natib and Mariveles boost Metro Manila’s southwest monsoon rains
The volume of rain far beyond the leeward side of a volcano can be amplified by the presence of it …Continue reading →

Lagmay A.M.F., Irene A. Crisologo, Bernard Alan B. Racoma & Carlos Primo C. David (2015). Volcanoes magnify Metro Manila's southwest monsoon rains and lethal floods, Frontiers in Earth Science, 2 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/feart.2014.00036

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January 14, 2015

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8:54 PM | The hidden neurological impact of explosions on military members
More bad news for war Veterans, the brains of some Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and died later of other causes show a distinctive honeycomb pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers throughout critical brain regions, including those that control executive function. The pattern is different from […]

Ryu J, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Xu L, Pletnikova O, Leri F, Eberhart C, Troncoso JC & Koliatsos VE (2014). The problem of axonal injury in the brains of veterans with histories of blast exposure., Acta neuropathologica communications, 2 (1) 153. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25422066

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8:41 PM | Nature’s Drag Queens
Some men like to dress up as women. Personally, I am not a big fan of these drag queens, but I must say some look convincingly female. But is this behavior strictly human? Or do other animals organize the occasional gender-switch-party? It turns out that nature has her fair share of drag queens. Sneaky Sam Meet Sam, […]

Norman, M., Finn, J. & Tregenza, T. (1999). Female impersonation as an alternative reproductive strategy in giant cuttlefish, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266 (1426) 1347-1349. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0786

Slagsvold, T. & Sætre, G.-P. (1991). Evolution of Plumage Color in Male Pied Flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca): Evidence for Female Mimicry, Evolution, 45 (4) 910-917. Other:

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3:41 PM | Journal Club: Birds pick nest materials with camouflage in mind
SUMMARY: A recent study by a research team in Scotland reveals that birds intentionally choose colour-matching materials to camouflage their nests thereby reducing predation risk. The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket” belies the very thing that many bird species must do. For this reason, predation is a major cause of loss of eggs, nestlings and the brooding hen, especially for birds that build open-cup nests. So how do birds protect their nests from […]

Bailey I.E., Kate Morgan, Simone L. Meddle & Susan D. Healy (2015). Birds build camouflaged nests, The Auk, 132 (1) 11-15. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1642/auk-14-77.1

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2:39 PM | Video Tip of the Week: Genome assemblers and #Docker
Last fall there was a tip I did on Docker, which was starting to pick up a lot of chatter around the genoscenti. It was starting to look like a good solution for some of the problems of reproducibility and re-use of software in genomics–containerize it. Box it up, hand it off. There’s certainly a […]

Automating the Selection Process for a Genome Assembler, JGI Science Highlights, Other:

Veras A., Vasco Azevedo, Artur Silva, Rommel Ramos, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University Pará, Belém, Pará & Brazil (2013). AutoAssemblyD: a graphical user interface system for several genome assemblers, Bioinformation, 9 (16) 840-841. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6026/97320630009840

Hildebrandt A.K., N. M. Fischer, L. de la Garza, J. Kruger, S. Nickels, M. Rottig, C. Scharfe, M. Schumann, P. Thiel & H.-P. Lenhof & (2014). ballaxy: web services for structural bioinformatics, Bioinformatics, 31 (1) 121-122. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btu574

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1:30 PM | Do Hand-Reared Wolves get Attached to their Humans?
Researchers test the bond between captive wolf pups and the humans who rear them.Photo: Geoffrey Kuchera / ShutterstockWe all think our dogs form attachments to us, but previous studies with wolf pups have suggested they don’t attach to their caregiver in the same way. While a 16-week old puppy is already attached to its owner, scientists found the same is not true of a 16-week old wolf. However, the way the wolf pup is raised and the age of testing may have an effect. New research by […]

Gácsi M, Maros K, Sernkvist S, Faragó T & Miklósi A (2013). Human analogue safe haven effect of the owner: behavioural and heart rate response to stressful social stimuli in dogs., PloS one, 8 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23469283

Gácsi M, Maros K, Sernkvist S, Faragó T & Miklósi A (2013). Human analogue safe haven effect of the owner: behavioural and heart rate response to stressful social stimuli in dogs., PloS one, 8 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23469283

Hall, N.J., Lord, K., Arnold, A-M.K., Wynne, C.D.L. & Udell, M. (2015). Assessment of attachment behaviours to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus), Behavioural Processes , 110 15-21. Other:

Hall, N.J., Lord, K., Arnold, A-M.K., Wynne, C.D.L. & Udell, M. (2015). Assessment of attachment behaviours to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus), Behavioural Processes , 110 15-21. Other:

Rehn, T., Lindholm, U., Keeling, L. & Forkman, B. (2014). I like my dog, does my dog like me?, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 150 65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.008

Rehn, T., Lindholm, U., Keeling, L. & Forkman, B. (2014). I like my dog, does my dog like me?, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 150 65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.008

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1:14 PM | Imagining walking through a doorway triggers increased forgetting
We've all had that experience of going purposefully from one room to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Gabriel Radvansky and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of passing through a doorway induces forgetting. Now psychologists at Knox College, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining walking through a doorway is enough to trigger increased forgetfulness. Zachary Lawrence and […]

Lawrence, Z. & Peterson, D. (2014). Mentally walking through doorways causes forgetting: The location updating effect and imagination, Memory, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2014.980429

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Editor's Pick
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1:00 PM | Everybody In The Gene Pool - Plants That Swim
Biology concepts – botany, taxonomy, alternation of generations, cycad, gametophyte, sporophyte, gametes, motility, ginkgo, archegonium, antheridiumIn the LOTR The Two Towers we find the tree herders that can move on their own despite being plants. Today’s exception is a version of this, if on a much smaller scale. There are a few types of trees that have motile parts; they don’t rely on wind, gravity, insects or anything else to move from one place to another.Plants are […]

Suinyuy, T., Donaldson, J. & Johnson, S. (2013). Patterns of odour emission, thermogenesis and pollinator activity in cones of an African cycad: what mechanisms apply?, Annals of Botany, 112 (5) 891-902. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct159

Vaughn, K. & Renzaglia, K. (2006). Structural and immunocytochemical characterization of the Ginkgo biloba L. sperm motility apparatus, Protoplasma, 227 (2-4) 165-173. DOI: 10.1007/s00709-005-0141-3

Murch, S., Cox, P. & Banack, S. (2004). A mechanism for slow release of biomagnified cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease in Guam, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101 (33) 12228-12231. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0404926101

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12:44 AM | Questioning oxytocin research
“You may have heard of oxytocin as the “moral molecule” or the “hug hormone” or the “cuddle chemical”. Unleashed by hugs, available in a handy nasal spray, and possessed with the ability to boost trust, empathy and a laundry list of virtues, it is apparently the cure to all the world’s social ills. Except it’s […]

Christensen, J., Shiyanov, P., Estepp, J. & Schlager, J. (2014). Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Paradigm, PLoS ONE, 9 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116172

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January 13, 2015

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7:07 PM | Genetic brain disorders start at the synapse
As we’ve seen from research featured here at the lab, there are many genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability and autism. Historically, these were viewed as untreatable. However, in recent years we have shown via animal models that it is possible to reverse the effects of these gene mutations. But the question remained whether different gene mutations […]

Tian, D., Stoppel, L., Heynen, A., Lindemann, L., Jaeschke, G., Mills, A. & Bear, M. (2015). Contribution of mGluR5 to pathophysiology in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion, Nature Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1038/nn.3911

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4:15 PM | Dimostrazioni senza parole: somma di una serie infinita
Sulla copertina di RM #199 (pdf) c'è la dimostrazione senza parole della somma di una serie: \[\sum_{k=0}^\infty (-1)^k (1/3)^k\] Come ricordano i Rudi, la dimostrazione (che potete vedere su reasearchgate.org) è di Hasan Unal(1), che a sua volta trae ispirazione da Richard Mabry (della Louisiana State University) Il post vuole essere una sorta di contenuto extra regalato ai Rudi che, riguardo la cover, hanno candidamente ammesso: No, non abbiamo dei link.E allora eccoli serviti! […]

Unal H. (2009). Proof Without Words: Sum of an Infinite Series, The College Mathematics Journal, 40 (1) 39-39. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/193113409x469695

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12:00 PM | Not All Are Buried Here: Selective Burial in Prehistoric Spain
Interpreting cemeteries in order to understand the living population is a dangerous and difficult task. On the one hand, cemeteries are really our only form of information about the actual […]

Fernández-Crespo, T. & de-la-Rúa, C. (2015). Demographic evidence of selective burial in megalithic graves of northern Spain, Journal of Archaeological Science, 53 604-617. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.015

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9:58 AM | Autism diagnosis as a predictor of slow colonic transit
Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues [1] suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by […]

Ridha Z, Quinn R & Croaker GD (2014). Predictors of slow colonic transit in children., Pediatric surgery international, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25549892

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3:30 AM | Cataloging a year of blogging: the philosophical turn
Passion and motivation are strange and confusing facets of being. Many things about them feel paradoxical. For example, I really enjoy writing, categorizing, and — obviously, if you’ve read many of the introductory paragraphs on TheEGG — blabbing on far too long about myself. So you’d expect that I would have been extremely motivated to […]

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M. & Shultz, T.R. (2014). Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation., Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society, arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.0041v1

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1:25 AM | Volcanic eruptions partially explain global warming hiatus
Much has been made in the last year about the so-called global warming hiatus seen in sea surface temperatures: You can see a consistent rise in land-ocean temperatures since the 60’s that mysteriously plateaus after around 2000.  Although I have … Continue reading →

Santer, B., Solomon, S., Bonfils, C., Zelinka, M., Painter, J., Beltran, F., Fyfe, J., Johannesson, G., Mears, C., Ridley, D. & Vernier, J. (2014). Observed multi-variable signals of late 20th and early 21st century volcanic activity, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062366

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