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Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition
A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture. They argue that the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by […]

Blancke, S., Van Breusegem, F., De Jaeger, G., Braeckman, J. & Van Montagu, M. (2015). Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition, Trends in Plant Science, DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.03.011

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Mental disorders do not predict violence, so please stop
When Sandy Hook happened, it was so shocking that to this day, some don’t actually believe it happened. Shortly after, something frustrating happened, the shooter was labeled with aspergers. This helped drive the mental health and violence connection to the point that Time came out with an article dispelling that myth. Even now according to […]

Elkington, K., Teplin, L., Abram, K., Jakubowski, J., Dulcan, M. & Welty, L. (2015). Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54 (4) 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002

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¿Qué le hace falta a los programas de prevención de violencia contra las mujeres?
“Si Eva hubiera escrito el Génesis, ¿Cómo sería la primera noche de amor del género humano? Eva hubiera empezado por aclarar que ella no nació de ninguna costilla, ni conoció a ninguna serpiente, ni ofreció manzanas a nadie, y que Dios nunca le dijo que parirás con dolor y tu marido te dominará. Que todas esas historias son puras mentiras que Adán contó a la prensa”.Eduardo Galeano (1998)Q.E.P.D […]

Butchart, A., García-Moreno, C. & Mikton, C. (2011). Prevención de la violencia sexual y violencia infligida por la pareja contra las mujeres., Organización Panamericana de Salud y Organización Mundial de la Salud: Washington.,

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Kids with autism: a highly [psychotropic] medicated group?
"In keeping with international studies this sample of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] was a highly medicated group."So said the results of the study reported by Kerry-Ann Louw and colleagues [1] back in 2013 who noted that approximately one quarter of their cohort were currently in receipt of "psychotropic medications". I don't want to linger too much on this topic given that such findings tally with other peer-reviewed reports including those with much larger […]

Louw KA, Bentley J, Sorsdahl K & Adnams CM (2013). Prevalence and patterns of medication use in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders in the Western Cape, South Africa., Journal of child and adolescent mental health, 25 (1) 69-79. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25860309

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Diabetes drug found in freshwater potential cause of intersex fish
A medication commonly taken for Type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish –or male fish that produce eggs. The study determined exposure to the diabetes medicine metformin causes physical changes in male fish exposed to doses similar to the amount in wastewater effluent. “In […]

Niemuth, N. & Klaper, R. (2015). Emerging wastewater contaminant metformin causes intersex and reduced fecundity in fish, Chemosphere, 135 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.060

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Classic Story, A City Corpse Meets a Country Corpse
I’ve been indulging in a little HGTV this week as a way to recover from post-conference exhaustion. I know that shows like House Hunters aren’t real- they already have bought […]

Redfern, R., DeWitte, S., Pearce, J., Hamlin, C. & Dinwiddy, K. (2015). Urban-rural differences in Roman Dorset, England: A bioarchaeological perspective on Roman settlements, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157 (1) 107-120. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22693

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DSM-5 impacting on autism numbers
"Consistent with previous reviews, the majority of included studies indicated between 50 and 75 % of individuals will maintain diagnoses."That was one of the conclusions reached by Isaac Smith and colleagues [1] following their systematic review of studies comparing DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what the changes mean for eligibility for the label.Authors further reported that: "the greatest decreases [were] among high-functioning populations with IQs over […]

Smith IC, Reichow B & Volkmar FR (2015). The Effects of DSM-5 Criteria on Number of Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25796195

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Scientists create worlds first genetically modified human embryos
A funny thing happened on the way to the publisher. In a world first, China has successfully created genetically modified human embryos. It was certainly an amazing piece of scientific testing, but the paper was rejected by both Nature and Science, not because the study was flawed, or because the data was falsified, but for ethical […]

Liang, P., Xu, Y., Zhang, X., Ding, C., Huang, R., Zhang, Z., Lv, J., Xie, X., Chen, Y., Li, Y. & Sun, Y. (2015). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes, Protein & Cell, DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5

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Whooping cough: A small drop in vaccine protection can lead to a case upsurge
In 2012 the USA saw the highest number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1955. New research finds that a likely explanation for this rise in disease is a drop in the degree of vaccine protection for each vaccinated individual. The team worked with 60 years of pertussis disease data to determine what best explained the recent […]

Gambhir M, Clark TA, Cauchemez S, Tartof SY, Swerdlow DL & Ferguson NM (2015). A Change in Vaccine Efficacy and Duration of Protection Explains Recent Rises in Pertussis Incidence in the United States, PLOS Computational Biology, Other:

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Two Species of Cottonmouths? This Scientist Says Yes!
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Burbrink, F. T. & Guiher, T. J. (2015). Considering gene flow when using coalescent methods to delimit lineages of North American pitvipers of the genus Agkistrodon, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 173 (2) 505-526.

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