Posts

April 07, 2015

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2:35 PM | Edwardsiella andrillae: The Icy Anemone
Edwardsiella andrillae Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Cnidaria Class: Anthozoa Order: Actiniaria Family: Edwardsiidae Genus: Edwardsiella Species: Edwardsiella andrillae Meet Edwardsiella andrillae, a recently discovered species of sea anemone that lives anchored to the underside of sea ice offshore of Antarctica. The species was discovered in December 2010 during a test run of an

Daly, M., Rack, F. & Zook, R. (2013). Edwardsiella andrillae, a New Species of Sea Anemone from Antarctic Ice, PLoS ONE, 8 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083476

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6:45 AM | Candida albicans triggering coeliac disease?
Will the bafflement around coeliac (celiac) disease ever stop?I want you to cast your eye over the paper from Marion Corouge and colleagues [1] (open-access) and the interesting hypothesis that: "CI [Candida albicans infection] may trigger CeD [coeliac disease] onset in genetically-susceptible individuals."Continuing a theme of 'bafflement' when it comes to the autoimmune condition known as coeliac disease (see here), Corouge et al reported that a […]

Corouge M, Loridant S, Fradin C, Salleron J, Damiens S, Moragues MD, Souplet V, Jouault T, Robert R, Dubucquoi S & Sendid B (2015). Humoral Immunity Links Candida albicans Infection and Celiac Disease., PloS one, 10 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25793717

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12:38 AM | Evolving Arctic habitats: how global warming may disrupt the prey-predator balance
The polar bear scrambling onto a small piece of floating ice is the emotional icon of global warming.  We know that dramatic loss of sea ice is threatening their habitat and will likely reduce their population and change their distribution.  But … Continue reading →

Marcot, B., Jorgenson, M., Lawler, J., Handel, C. & DeGange, A. (2015). Projected changes in wildlife habitats in Arctic natural areas of northwest Alaska, Climatic Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-015-1354-x

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April 06, 2015

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9:54 PM | It’s all hype: Few commercial weight-loss programs are effective
In a bid to help physicians guide obese and overweight patients who want to try a commercial weight-loss program, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed 4,200 studies for solid evidence of their effectiveness but concluded only a few dozen of the studies met the scientific gold standard of reliability. In a review of the […]

Kimberly A. Gudzune, MD, MPH, Ruchi S. Doshi, BA, Ambereen K. Mehta, MD, MPH, Zoobia W. Chaudhry, MD, David K. Jacobs, BA, Rachit M. Vakil, BS, Clare J. Lee, MD, Sara N. Bleich, PhD & Jeanne M. Clark, MD, MPH (2015). Efficacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs: An Updated Systematic Review, Annals of Internal Medicine, Other:

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7:27 PM | Researchers find protein that triggers lupus-associated immune system activation
Researchers have identified an inflammatory molecule that appears to play an essential role in the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly known simply as lupus. In their report the team describes finding that a protein that regulates certain cells in the innate immune system – the body’s first line of defense against infection – activates a molecular pathway […]

Ramirez-Ortiz et al. (2015). TREML4 amplifies TLR7, Nature Immunology , Other:

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8:18 AM | Assisted Reproductive Technology conception and autism
I noticed recently that the paper by Christine Fountain and colleagues [1] reporting that "incidence of diagnosed autism was twice as high for ART [assisted reproductive technology] as non-ART births" has been making some media headlines.Based on an analysis of an impressive participant number "using linked records from the California Birth Master Files for 1997 through 2007, the California Department of Developmental Services autism caseload for 1997 through 2011, and the Centers for […]

Fountain C, Zhang Y, Kissin DM, Schieve LA, Jamieson DJ, Rice C & Bearman P (2015). Association Between Assisted Reproductive Technology Conception and Autism in California, 1997-2007., American journal of public health, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25790396

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April 05, 2015

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7:05 PM | Gender differences in moral judgements linked to emotion
If a time machine was available, would it be right to kill Adolf Hitler when he was still a young Austrian artist to prevent World War II and save millions of lives? Should a police officer torture an alleged bomber to find hidden explosives that could kill many people at a local cafe? When faced […]

Friesdorf, R., Conway, P. & Gawronski, B. (2015). Gender Differences in Responses to Moral Dilemmas: A Process Dissociation Analysis, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41 (5) 696-713. DOI: 10.1177/0146167215575731

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April 04, 2015

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9:46 PM | Uterine fibroid growth increases with cadmium exposure, but not because cadmium acts like estrogen
Breathing or eating even small amounts of the toxic metal cadmium—a widespread contaminant of cigarettes and seafood—may increase a woman’s risk for developing uterine fibroids, but not in the way scientists previously thought. By the age of 50, at least … Continue reading →

Gao X, Yu L, Moore AB, Kissling GE, Waalkes MP & Dixon D (2015). Cadmium and Proliferation in Human Uterine Leiomyoma Cells: Evidence of a Role for EGFR/MAPK Pathways but Not Classical Estrogen Receptor Pathways., Environmental health perspectives, 123 (4) 331-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25343777

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7:02 PM | 5 Weird Animals Described in 2014
From pink blind fish to mushroom shaped animals to flic-flac jumping spiders, here is a pick of the weirdest animals described in 2014. 1. Hoosier cavefish (Amblyopsis hoosieri) A live specimen of A. hoosieri, measuring 6.07 cm (2.39 in) long. The Hoosier cavefish (Amblyopsis hoosieri) is a subterranean blind fish from southern Indiana, U.S. First discovered during a 2013 study on

Chakrabarty P, Prejean JA & Niemiller ML (2014). The Hoosier cavefish, a new and endangered species (Amblyopsidae, Amblyopsis) from the caves of southern Indiana., ZooKeys, (412) 41-57. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24899861

Just J, Kristensen RM & Olesen J (2014). Dendrogramma, new genus, with two new non-bilaterian species from the marine bathyal of southeastern Australia (Animalia, Metazoa incertae sedis)--with similarities to some medusoids from the Precambrian Ediacara., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184248

Hrbek T, da Silva VM, Dutra N, Gravena W, Martin AR & Farias IP (2014). A new species of river dolphin from Brazil or: how little do we know our biodiversity., PloS one, 9 (1) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24465386

Jäger P (2014). Cebrennus Simon, 1880 (Araneae: Sparassidae): a revisionary up-date with the description of four new species and an updated identification key for all species., Zootaxa, 3790 319-56. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24869871

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6:53 PM | Smoking, bad for you, good for MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant superbug, can cause life-threatening skin, bloodstream and surgical site infections or pneumonia. It has been a tough battle finding ways to fight it and research now shows, cigarette smoke may make matters worse. The study shows that MRSA bacteria exposed to cigarette smoke become even more resistant to killing by the immune […]

McEachern, E., Hwang, J., Sladewski, K., Nicatia, S., Dewitz, C., Mathew, D., Nizet, V. & Crotty Alexander, L. (2015). Analysis of the Effects of Cigarette Smoke on Staphylococcal Virulence Phenotypes, Infection and Immunity, DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00303-15

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8:55 AM | No evidence for efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids on [autism] core symptom domains
To quote from the study by Deepali Mankad and colleagues [1] (open-access): "This study does not support high dose supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in young children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Only yesterday I was discussing the results from Bos and colleagues [2] (see here) and the idea that inattention might be a target behaviour for supplementation with PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids] with (and without) ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] in mind. […]

Mankad, D., Dupuis, A., Smile, S., Roberts, W., Brian, J., Lui, T., Genore, L., Zaghloul, D., Iaboni, A., Marcon, P. & Anagnostou, E. (2015). A randomized, placebo controlled trial of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of young children with autism, Molecular Autism, 6 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s13229-015-0010-7

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April 03, 2015

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11:33 PM | Risk of congenital heart disease is determined by the age of the mother, not her eggs
As a woman of child-bearing age, I am acutely aware that the longer I postpone having children, the greater the risk that my future offspring may have a medical or developmental disorder. It seems like every few weeks, a new study makes it into the news cycle linking advanced maternal age to disease X or […]

Schulkey C.E., Rachel A. Magnan, Megan T. Danzo, Herman Luther, Alayna K. Hutchinson, Adam A. Panzer, Mary M. Grady, David B. Wilson & Patrick Y. Jay (2015). The maternal-age-associated risk of congenital heart disease is modifiable, Nature, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14361

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7:15 PM | New therapy halts artery plaque growth and suppresses inflammation
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 deaths are due to heart attacks. In fact it is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Largely attributed to diet, most medications solely aim at lowering cholesterol. However, a research team showed that a nanotherapeutic medicine can halt the growth of artery plaque cells resulting in the fast […]

Jun Tang, Mark E. Lobatto, Laurien Hassing, Susanne van der Staay, Sarian M. van Rijs, Claudia Calcagno, Mounia S. Braza, Samantha Baxter, Francois Fay, Brenda L. Sanchez-Gaytan & Raphaël Duivenvoorden (2015). Inhibiting macrophage proliferation suppresses atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, Science Advances, Other:

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8:29 AM | Improving inattention in boys with and without ADHD
The [truncated] PubMed listing of the abstract by Dienke Bos and colleagues [1] does little justice to the results reported by this group looking at the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on the behaviour of boys both diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and those who are described as 'typically developing'.Luckily the paper is open-access (see here) and one can get a true flavour of what happened to this cohort of boys with and without a diagnosis of […]

Bos DJ, Oranje B, Veerhoek ES, Van Diepen RM, Weusten JM, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, de Sain-van der Velden MG, Eilander A, Hoeksma M & Durston S (2015). Reduced symptoms of inattention after Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in boys with and without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder., Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25790022

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April 02, 2015

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6:53 PM | Beta secretase inhibitors offer treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
With each new amyloid-targeting treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that has been developed, there has been a corresponding concern. For example, antibodies targeting amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) produce inflammation in the brain in some patients. Gamma secretase inhibitors tend to produce adverse effects by interacting with Notch, an important pathway for cellular signaling. However, a new target […]

Filser, S., Ovsepian, S., Masana, M., Blazquez‐Llorca, L., Brandt Elvang, A., Volbracht, C., Müller, M., Jung, C. & Herms, J. (2015). Pharmacological Inhibition of BACE1 Impairs Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Functions, Biological Psychiatry, 77 (8) 729-739. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.10.013

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6:11 PM | Underage drinking has lasting effects on the brain and epigenetics
The rise of underage drinking has almost left a sense that it is acceptable or even free of long-term consequences. Unfortunately because the brain continues forming long into the early twenties, environmental factors can have a large impact on the development. In fact, research shows that binge-drinking during adolescence may perturb brain development at a critical […]

Pandey SC, Sakharkar AJ, Tang L & Zhang H (2015). Potential role of adolescent alcohol exposure-induced amygdaloid histone modifications in anxiety and alcohol intake during adulthood., Neurobiology of disease, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25814047

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10:25 AM | Did A Soviet Psychiatrist Discover Autism In 1925?
Who discovered autism? Traditionally, the priority has been ascribed to two psychiatrists, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, who both published independent but remarkably similar descriptions of the syndrome in 1943 - 44 (although Asperger had released a preliminary description in 1938.) But according to a new paper in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, both Kanner and Asperger were scooped by nearly two decades - by a Soviet child psychiatrist, Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva. She described a syn

Manouilenko I & Bejerot S (2015). Sukhareva - Prior to Asperger and Kanner., Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 1-4. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25826582

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7:12 AM | Physical activity and sleep in autism
Sleep issues are not an uncommon feature for quite a few people on the autism spectrum (see here).Autism research has provided some pretty strong evidence to support that last sentence and how sleep, or a lack of it in terms of quality and/or quantity, might not be optimal for people on the autism spectrum (as it isn't for those not on the spectrum).The hows and whys of sleep affecting the behavioural presentation of autism are still a little in the air outside of what is known more generally […]

Wachob D & Lorenzi DG (2015). Brief Report: Influence of Physical Activity on Sleep Quality in Children with Autism., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25791123

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April 01, 2015

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10:36 PM | Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters
In electronics, a drift current is one where the motion of charge carriers is dictated by an applied electric field. In contrast, a diffusive current... The post Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters appeared first on Spin and Tonic.

Nádvorník, L., Haigh, J., Olejník, K., Irvine, A., Novák, V., Jungwirth, T. & Wunderlich, J. (2015). Efficient conversion of light to charge and spin in Hall-bar microdevices, Physical Review B, 91 (12) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.125205

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10:36 PM | Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters
In electronics, a drift current is one where the motion of charge carriers is dictated by an applied electric field. In contrast, a diffusive current... The post Drifting towards spintronic polarimeters appeared first on Spin and Tonic.

Nádvorník, L., Haigh, J., Olejník, K., Irvine, A., Novák, V., Jungwirth, T. & Wunderlich, J. (2015). Efficient conversion of light to charge and spin in Hall-bar microdevices, Physical Review B, 91 (12) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.125205

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7:14 PM | Sleep may be critical to avoid miscarriage
If you are trying to have a baby, a good night’s sleep is more important than ever. A recently published research report shows that the womb has its own “body clock” that needs to synchronize with the mother’s body clock to ensure optimal conditions for fetal growth and development. The inability of a mother’s body clock […]

Muter, J., Lucas, E., Chan, Y., Brighton, P., Moore, J., Lacey, L., Quenby, S., Lam, E. & Brosens, J. (2015). The clock protein period 2 synchronizes mitotic expansion and decidual transformation of human endometrial stromal cells, The FASEB Journal, 29 (4) 1603-1614. DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-267195

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6:08 PM | The small beginnings of gastruloids
Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are by definition cells that can self-renew (make identical copies of themselves) and specialize into any cell type of the body. Since their discovery, scientists have used them to produce various specialized cell types in culture but also to produce transgenic mouse lines. When injected into a mouse early embryo, […]

van den Brink, S., Baillie-Johnson, P., Balayo, T., Hadjantonakis, A., Nowotschin, S., Turner, D. & Martinez Arias, A. (2014). Symmetry breaking, germ layer specification and axial organisation in aggregates of mouse embryonic stem cells, Development, 141 (22) 4231-4242. DOI: 10.1242/dev.113001

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1:39 PM | Video Tip of the Week: The New OpenHelix Interface
Generally we like to highlight new features and new tools from bioinformatics software providers. But this week we wanted to introduce some new features of our own OpenHelix site. If you’ve been using the site for a while, you will have noticed that recently we rolled out some changes. All the same tutorial materials and […]

Williams J.M., M. E. Mangan, C. Perreault-Micale, S. Lathe, N. Sirohi & W. C. Lathe (2010). OpenHelix: bioinformatics education outside of a different box, Briefings in Bioinformatics, 11 (6) 598-609. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbq026

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12:19 PM | Eyes on Environment post: cultural and environmental impact of big solar
Eighty miles east of Palm Springs, California, eight million solar panels lean toward the sky, their deep blue shine a modern oasis interrupting the brown dust of the Mojave Desert.  Known as Desert Sunlight, the solar power plant is the … Continue reading →

Hinderle, D., Lewison, R., Walde, A., Deutschman, D. & Boarman, W. (2015). The effects of homing and movement behaviors on translocation: Desert tortoises in the western Mojave Desert, The Journal of Wildlife Management, 79 (1) 137-147. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.823

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12:00 PM | The Bird Jaws of Life
Biology concepts – ecology, radiative speciation, talpid, tomia, temperomandibular joint, cranial kinesis, bilateral symmetry, asymmetryYou’ve heard the phrase, “As scarce as hen’s teeth?” Well, you’ve heard it if you’re as old as I. Hens don’t have teeth, so the phrase means something so rare as to be fictitious. Sort of like Will Ferrell’s chances of winning an Oscar. Chicks don’t’ peck their way out of their shell. They use an […]

Meredith, R., Zhang, G., Gilbert, M., Jarvis, E. & Springer, M. (2014). Evidence for a single loss of mineralized teeth in the common avian ancestor, Science, 346 (6215) 1254390-1254390. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254390

Smith, J., Sjoberg, S., Mueller, M. & Benkman, C. (2012). Assortative flocking in crossbills and implications for ecological speciation, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1745) 4223-4229. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1500

Benkman, C., Parchman, T. & Mezquida, E. (2010). Patterns of coevolution in the adaptive radiation of crossbills, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1206 (1) 1-16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05702.x

SNOWBERG, L. & BENKMAN, C. (2009). Mate choice based on a key ecological performance trait, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22 (4) 762-769. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01699.x

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9:37 AM | Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice
I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, […]

Zakirova, Z., Tweed, M., Crynen, G., Reed, J., Abdullah, L., Nissanka, N., Mullan, M., Mullan, M., Mathura, V., Crawford, F. & Ait-Ghezala, G. (2015). Gulf War Agent Exposure Causes Impairment of Long-Term Memory Formation and Neuropathological Changes in a Mouse Model of Gulf War Illness, PLOS ONE, 10 (3) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119579

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3:45 AM | Operationalizing the local environment for replicator dynamics
Recently, Jake Taylor-King arrived in Tampa and last week we were brainstorming some projects to work on together. In the process, I dug up an old idea I’ve been playing with as my understanding of the Ohtsuki-Nowak transform matured. The basic goal is to work towards an operational account of spatial structure without having to […]

Ohtsuki, H. & Nowak, M. (2006). The replicator equation on graphs., Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243 (1) 86-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.06.004

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March 31, 2015

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8:55 PM | An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count
Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So […]

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015). Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic, Human Reproduction, Other:

Hagai Levine & Shanna H. Swan (2015). Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic, Human Reproduction, Other:

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8:23 PM | Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products
We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, […]

Durante, K. & Arsena, A. (2015). Playing the Field: The Effect of Fertility on Women’s Desire for Variety, Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (6) 1372-1391. DOI: 10.1086/679652

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10:44 AM | African-Americans Receive Heart Transplants at Hospitals With Poor Performance Track Records
About five million people in the US suffer from heart failure, and approximately half of them die within five years of being diagnosed. Only about 2,500 people a year receive a heart transplant – the treatment of last resort. A new heart can be life-saving, but it is also life-changing. Even under the best conditions, the surgery is complex, and recovery carries a heavy physical and emotional burden. And not all heart transplant recipients fare equally well after the surgery.... Read more

Kilic, A., Higgins, R., Whitson, B. & Kilic, A. (2015). Racial Disparities in Outcomes of Adult Heart Transplantation, Circulation, 131 (10) 882-889. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.011676

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