Posts

December 20, 2014

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3:40 AM | Know your brain: Pituitary gland
The pituitary gland (in red). Image courtesy of Life Science Databases (LSDB). Where is the pituitary gland?The pituitary gland is a small (about the size of a pea) endocrine gland that extends from the bottom of the hypothalamus. It is divided into two lobes in humans, the anterior pituitary and posterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary does not have direct neural connections to the hypothalamus, but is able to communicate with it through a system of blood vessels called the […]
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12:30 AM | "What to Enhance: Behaviour, Emotion or Disposition?"
"What to Enhance: Behavior, Emotion, or Disposition?" by Karim Jebari has been published in the most recent issue of Neuroethics: Abstract As we learn more about the human brain, novel biotechnological means to modulate human behaviour and emotional dispositions become...
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12:00 AM | Why a New Partner Boosts Your Sex Life
Arousal and desire would have evolved to promote the most successful mating strategy. So if having a novel sexual partner produced the greatest number of offspring who survive to procreate, then sexual desire and arousal should be greatest in these situations.

December 19, 2014

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11:00 PM | ‘Get A Lovely Bust For Christmas’: 1930s Tips For How To Be A Festive Woman
Good Needlwork magazine shows you how to get better bosoms. Image: Dave WhattBy Jo Brewis, University of LeicesterWhen my good friend and long-term collaborator Sam Warren was given a pile of women’s magazines from the 1930s by her grandmother Jane Frampton, we found among them 11 Christmas issues of Good Needlework, Model Housekeeping, The Needlewoman and Stitchcraft. read more
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10:30 PM | PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)
Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): A Crowd Of Scientists Finds A Better Way To Predict Seizures, NPR Shots Blog In The Popular Press: Study to Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence, New York Times Why Your Brain is So Bad at...
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10:27 PM | Removing natural selection; reshaping the horse; adjusting evolutionary theory
Prehistoric genomes reveal the genetic foundation and cost of horse domestication Reported as: Reshaping the horse through millennia Excerpt: “Domestication is generally associated with repeated demographic crashes. Yet, mutations that negatively impact genes are not eliminated by selection and can even...Read more
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10:24 PM | Only One Third Of Dr. Oz Show Recommendations Is Believable, Finds Analysis
Televisiom programs such as "The Dr. Oz Show" and "The Doctors" have attracted massive followings, primarily due to having charismatic hosts who clearly mean well, coupled with a public desire to know the science basis for how we function. But in the quest to have new content so often each week, the perception among the science community is that they will run with any claims about the latest health miracle or scary chemical. That doesn't help the public, it just promotes suspect alternatives to […]
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8:30 PM | Babies In Your 30s Is Not Modern - Your Great-Grandmother Did It Too
Freeze your eggs or your career? ShutterstockBy Jenna Healey, Yale University read more
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8:00 PM | Weighing Trees - Now With Lasers
A terrestrial laser scanning technique that allows the structure of vegetation to be 3D-mapped to the millimeter is more accurate in determining the biomass of trees and carbon stocks in forests than current methods, according to a paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolution. The study authors believe it could be used in monitoring carbon stocks for climate policy. Both above-ground biomass and carbon stocks are important details for UN-REDD, the United Nations initiative on Reducing […]
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7:06 PM | Why “fat shaming” makes the problem worse
Thanks to the internet age we have lost touch with the fact that there is a human out there reading these words. Because of this, the golden rule –treat others […]

LOGEL, C., STINSON, D., GUNN, G., WOOD, J., HOLMES, J. & CAMERON, J. (2014). A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time, Personal Relationships, 21 (4) 583-598. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12050

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6:05 PM | Two Steps Forward, One Backward in Using fMRI to Predict Product Popularity
Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:In a study that lasted several years, low responses to unfamiliar songs in two areas of adolescent listeners’ brains (the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens) were moderately accurate in predicting…
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5:55 PM | Mental Illnesses Run In Families, So How Can We Protect Children?
Children should be taken into consideration when helping adults with mental health issues. ShutterstockBy Sam Cartwright-Hatton, University of SussexMental illness runs in families. This is well known and uncontroversial. There is much that we could do to reduce this risk, but we currently do almost nothing. read more
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5:50 PM | “[Inmates] are entitled to be detained safely and in accordance...
“[Inmates] are entitled to be detained safely and in accordance with their Constitutional rights — not consigned to a corrections crucible that seems more inspired by Lord of the Flies than any legitimate philosophy of human detention.” - U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, The U.S. is suing New York over the horrific treatment of city inmates  -H/Taatombomb Jail and prison are punishment. If it reaches unintended punishment level, it’s […]
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5:36 PM | Why Some People Are Better Navigators: Brain's 'Homing' Signal Identified
It's no secret that some people are better at navigating than others, but it has been unclear why. In order to successfully navigate to a destination, you need to know which direction you are currently facing and which direction to travel in. For example, 'I am facing north and want to head east'. It is already known that mammals have brain cells that signal the direction that they are currently facing, a discovery that formed part of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Professor […]
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5:30 PM | This study of hype in press releases will change journalism
A survey of press releases and their related scientific studies shows that hype may creep from press releases to news coverage. But this doesn’t give anyone at any stage of the news cycle a pass.
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4:22 PM | This study of hype in press releases will change journalism
New work shows the inflation of scientific results happens at many stages in the press game ScicuriousScience & Society by Bethany Brookshire 12:30pm, December 19, 2014 A survey of press releases on biomedical studies finds that hype may creep from institutions' press releases about the research into news coverage. But this doesn’t give anyone at any stage of the […]
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4:14 PM | Who am I, exactly? Who are you, exactly?
Originally posted on Baldscientist:“Times change, and so must I… we all change. When you think about it, we are all different people, all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good! You’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” -The 11th Doctor The Time of…
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4:08 PM | Shale Gas Is Here To Stay - Here Are Ways To Keep It Safe And Productive
Though the New York governor recently made a pretense of banning fracking in the state (it was already not allowed) and the California governor said they should do the same thing, they're both being a little hypocritical. New York would have brown-outs without the energy they buy from Pennsylvania fracking and California has no fracking and 50 percent higher utility costs than the rest of the country because they subsidize alternatives and have to buy so heavily on the spot market. American CO2 […]
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3:53 PM | A Vegetarian Carnivorous Plant...Wait, What?
A carnivorous plant is a delight for people because everyone knows plant don't catch and eat animals - except some do. Like us, they need animals for nutrition. Do carnivorous plants also sometimes shake off nature and become vegetarians?  It seems so. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, which can be found in many lakes and ponds worldwide, eats little animals but also mixes it up by consuming algae and pollen grains in aquatic habitats where prey animals are rare, and that leads to […]
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3:31 PM | Universal Medicine Uses Google To Silence Critics
An Australian based company called Universal Medicine (UM) has been criticized by various skeptical blogs and groups as being a new age alternative medicine cult. Looking through their website, this seems like a reasonable observation. (The term “cult” is fuzzy, but many of the features seem to be present.) In response to this criticism, UM [...]
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2:00 PM | W-Band Wireless: High Speed Internet, Outdoors And Everywhere
A European team is working on the world’s first W-band wireless system -  millimeter wave technology for high speed wireless mobile and fixed point Internet - as part of a £2.8 million TWEETHER project.Millimeter waves - found in the spectrum between microwaves and infrared waves - are considered the most promising and cost effective solution for the future. The TWEETHER project will result in a powerful and compact transmission hub, based on a traveling wave tube power […]
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2:00 PM | Parkinson’s Disease Reverted In Rats
Scientists have demonstrated that mobility can be restored in patients with Parkinson's disease, the major degenerative disease of the motor system worldwide. The experiments used stem cells to generate dopaminergic nerve cells and reactivate the production of dopamine in the brains of rats with symptoms of shaking palsy or Parkinson's disease. read more
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1:56 PM | Head Motion Biases Brain Structural Scans
A regular theme here at Neuroskeptic is the worrying issue of head movement during brain scans. We've seen that motion can alter measures of functional and structural connectivity, and that common approaches to dealing with this problem may be inadequate. Now a new study reveals that even measures of the gross structure of the brain can be biased by excessive motion: Head motion during MRI acquisition reduces gray matter volume and thickness estimates. Harvard neurologists Martin Reuter

Reuter M, Tisdall MD, Qureshi A, Buckner RL, van der Kouwe AJ & Fischl B (2014). Head motion during MRI acquisition reduces gray matter volume and thickness estimates., NeuroImage, 107C 107-115. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25498430

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1:37 PM | Guest Post: Ben Allanach, On Open Access
Ben Allanach, guest blogger, is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He is grumpy about the way that public funds are being unnecessarily directed to scientific publishing houses. So I am offering this space to him to hear what he has to say about that... read more
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1:00 PM | Fly Life: Watching fruit flies sleep
Did you know that fruit flies sleep? There are actually a lot of similarities between sleep in fruit flies and sleep in humans and other mammals. For example… Image modified from Colwell, 2007 Like us, fruit flies get most of their sleep at night, and they also have an afternoon slump (although unlike us, they […]

Potdar S. (2013). Lessons From Sleeping Flies: Insights from Drosophila melanogaster on the Neuronal Circuitry and Importance of Sleep , Journal of Neurogenetics, 27 (1-2) 23-42. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/01677063.2013.791692

Koh K., M. N. Wu, Z. Yue, C. J. Smith & A. Sehgal (2008). Identification of SLEEPLESS, a Sleep-Promoting Factor, Science, 321 (5887) 372-376. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1155942

Liu W., Beika Lu & Aike Guo (2008). amnesiac regulates sleep onset and maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 372 (4) 798-803. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.05.119

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12:00 PM | This Is a Goodbye Post
Some bittersweet news: This is the last installment of Only Human. After two stimulating and fun years blogging at …
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10:05 AM | Our most popular posts of 2014
1. Jailed criminals think they are kinder, more trustworthy and honest than the average member of the public2. The ten most controversial psychology studies ever published3. Happy people think they're good at empathising with the pain of others. They're wrong4. What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed5. A man's fighting ability is written in his face6. Ten of the most counterintuitive psychology findings […]
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9:39 AM | Interview with Nacho D. Bermejo Bosch, Director of the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia
Interview with Nacho D. Bermejo Bosch, Director of rehabilitation and personal autonomy in Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV). Por / By Dr. Juan Moisés de la Serna En Novedades en Psicología - Blog de Psicología con actualidad, novedades y artículos. / In News in Psychology. Blog with news interviews and articles of Psychology.
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9:30 AM | Entrevista a D. Nacho Bermejo Bosch, Director del Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia
Entrevista a D. Nacho Bermejo Bosch, Director de rehabilitación y autonomía personal en Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV). Por / By Dr. Juan Moisés de la Serna En Novedades en Psicología - Blog de Psicología con actualidad, novedades y artículos. / In News in Psychology. Blog with news interviews and articles of Psychology.
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12:52 AM | Conserved molecular mechanisms
In RNA-mediated events: chromosomal rearrangements and genomic rearrangements, I wrote: John Hewitt is the only science journalist I know who may have the knowledge required to link bio-physically constrained epigenetically-effected cell type differentiation via Luca Turin’s Molecular Vibration-Sensing Component in...Read more
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