Post List

  • November 28, 2014
  • 11:50 AM
  • 3 views

When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

... Read more »

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J., & van Harreveld, F. (2014) Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection. Religion, Brain , 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444  

  • November 28, 2014
  • 04:56 AM
  • 6 views

The natural history of angiomyolipoma in cases of sporadic LAM

by Lizzie Perdeaux in BHD Research Blog

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a cystic lung disease that predominantly affects women. Roughly 90% of cases are sporadic and are caused by somatic mutation of the TSC2 gene, but some patients develop LAM as part of the syndrome Tuberous Sclerosis Complex … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 28, 2014
  • 02:34 AM
  • 7 views

The Autism-Spectrum Quotient: overlap between Asperger syndrome and schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Tove Lugnegård and colleagues [1], including mention of one Maria Unenge Hallerbäck who has appeared on this blog previously, is fodder for today's discussions and their finding that a: "significant overlap of AQ [Autism-Spectrum Quotient] scores across the two diagnostic groups clearly reduces the discriminating power of the AQ in the separation of schizophrenia from AS [Asperger syndrome]."They say you're judged by the strength of your enemies.As per that link to ........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2014
  • 07:37 PM
  • 24 views

Does hot cocoa delay brain aging?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: downloaded from http://www.wallpapermania.eu/, artist unknown. One of the most enjoyable things about the holidays is curling up with a good book and a cup of...... Read more »

Brickman AM, Khan UA, Provenzano FA, Yeung LK, Suzuki W, Schroeter H, Wall M, Sloan RP, & Small SA. (2014) Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Nature neuroscience, 17(12), 1798-803. PMID: 25344629  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 12:40 PM
  • 30 views

Fragile X and a new autism treatment

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There are many roads to autism, none of them involve vaccination. I get tired of saying that, but it’s simple science, vaccines do not cause autism. Thankfully science knows this and is looking at not only what actually causes autism (Since again there are many different ways to develop on the spectrum). Well they may have found a new treatment for people affected by a common inherited form of autism by using a drug that is being tested as a treatment for cancer.... Read more »

Gkogkas, C., Khoutorsky, A., Cao, R., Jafarnejad, S., Prager-Khoutorsky, M., Giannakas, N., Kaminari, A., Fragkouli, A., Nader, K., Price, T.... (2014) Pharmacogenetic Inhibition of eIF4E-Dependent Mmp9 mRNA Translation Reverses Fragile X Syndrome-like Phenotypes. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.064  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 11:30 AM
  • 24 views

Potential New Roles for Bacteria and B Cells in Promoting the Stomach Flu

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

We are all unfortunately familiar with the notorious stomach flu. Most of us have experienced that awful nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and tiredness associated with catching some stomach bug. While there are many viral causes of the stomach flu (also called gastroenteritis), one of the most common is the Norovirus. The Norovirus is a common and contagious virus that is currently the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis...... Read more »

Jones, M., Watanabe, M., Zhu, S., Graves, C., Keyes, L., Grau, K., Gonzalez-Hernandez, M., Iovine, N., Wobus, C., Vinje, J.... (2014) Enteric bacteria promote human and mouse norovirus infection of B cells. Science, 346(6210), 755-759. DOI: 10.1126/science.1257147  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 05:35 AM
  • 50 views

Why sadness lasts longer than other emotions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Staying positive can feel like an uphill battle. No wonder: when Philippe Verduyn and Saskia Lavrijsen asked over 200 high-school students (average age 17) to reminisce about the duration of their recent emotional experiences, they found that sadness had an unfortunate habit of lingering, more so than any of the other 26 emotions studied, including joy, pride and relief.Indeed, the average duration of the episodes of sadness recalled by the students was 120 hours. At the other extreme, the most ........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2014
  • 04:55 AM
  • 39 views

FC is a technique that has no validity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

FC, by the way, refers to Facilitated Communication, a controversial technique which as the name suggests relies on a facilitator to support "the hand or arm of a communicatively impaired individual while using a keyboard or other devices with the aim of helping the individual to point and thereby to communicate." The quote for the title of this post comes from the paper by Ralf Schlosser and colleagues [1] who following systematic review, found "unequivocal evidence for facilitator co........ Read more »

Schlosser RW, Balandin S, Hemsley B, Iacono T, Probst P, & von Tetzchner S. (2014) Facilitated Communication and Authorship: A Systematic Review. Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985), 1-10. PMID: 25384895  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:20 PM
  • 53 views

Need to turn off the pain? Well now we can!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My sister suffers from chronic pain issues. I’ve written several posts about how her autoimmune disease is a special brand of pain that you will thankfully (almost certainly) never have to feel. While great strides have been made in pain management, there are still relatively few options that do not carry the risk of being extremely addictive. Well thankfully there is some new research and it offers hope, not just for my sister, but for the millions of people suffering from chronic pain that ........ Read more »

Little JW, Ford A, Symons-Liguori AM, Chen Z, Janes K, Doyle T, Xie J, Luongo L, Tosh DK, Maione S.... (2014) Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 25414036  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 48 views

Synesthesia can be learned

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Synesthesia is a condition where one stimulus (like a letter) automatically is experienced with another attribute (like a colour) that is not actually present. About 4% of people have some form of this sensory mixing. It has been generally assumed that synesthesia is inherited because it runs in families. But it has been clear that […]... Read more »

Bor, D., Rothen, N., Schwartzman, D., Clayton, S., & Seth, A. (2014) Adults Can Be Trained to Acquire Synesthetic Experiences. Scientific Reports, 7089. DOI: 10.1038/srep07089  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 02:35 PM
  • 37 views

Tryptophan vs. The NFL Fan

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

What is tryptophan, and is it indeed responsible for the snoring that follows Thanksgiving dinner? ... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 01:24 PM
  • 40 views

Chikungunya Virus nsP2 and the ER stress response

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is the causative agent of an arthropod (mosquito) transmitted disease which is characterised by a high fever, rash, joint pain, and arthritis which was reported in 1952 in Tanzania but has spread since to Europe, Asia, Oceania and more recently to America, including the Caribbean and North America.
Here the inhibition of the ER stress response by the viral nsP2 protein is discussed in the context of viral infection. ... Read more »

Krejbich-Trotot P, Gay B, Li-Pat-Yuen G, Hoarau JJ, Jaffar-Bandjee MC, Briant L, Gasque P, & Denizot M. (2011) Chikungunya triggers an autophagic process which promotes viral replication. Virology journal, 432. PMID: 21902836  

Frolov I, Akhrymuk M, Akhrymuk I, Atasheva S, & Frolova EI. (2012) Early events in alphavirus replication determine the outcome of infection. Journal of virology, 86(9), 5055-66. PMID: 22345447  

Rudd PA, Wilson J, Gardner J, Larcher T, Babarit C, Le TT, Anraku I, Kumagai Y, Loo YM, Gale M Jr.... (2012) Interferon response factors 3 and 7 protect against Chikungunya virus hemorrhagic fever and shock. Journal of virology, 86(18), 9888-98. PMID: 22761364  

Fros JJ, Liu WJ, Prow NA, Geertsema C, Ligtenberg M, Vanlandingham DL, Schnettler E, Vlak JM, Suhrbier A, Khromykh AA.... (2010) Chikungunya virus nonstructural protein 2 inhibits type I/II interferon-stimulated JAK-STAT signaling. Journal of virology, 84(20), 10877-87. PMID: 20686047  

Fros JJ, Major LD, Scholte FE, Gardner J, van Hemert MJ, Suhrbier A, & Pijlman GP. (2014) Chikungunya virus nsP2-mediated host shut-off disables the unfolded protein response. The Journal of general virology. PMID: 25395592  

Rathore AP, Haystead T, Das PK, Merits A, Ng ML, & Vasudevan SG. (2014) Chikungunya virus nsP3 . Antiviral research, 7-16. PMID: 24388965  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 43 views

Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating patients with eating disorders find the challenge great with many treatment-resistant cases.To some extent, this is true of any clinical disorder. Outpatient treatment rolls and inpatient samples are over-represented by those failing to respond to initial interventions.A medical example is helpful here. Endocrinologists specializing in diabetes see more complicated cases where glucose control is difficult and diabetic complications are common.Diabetics with easy glucose contr........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 09:35 AM
  • 53 views

Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Think you’re in control of your own body? A simple virtual-reality session could not only make you feel like an avatar’s body is your own, but make you speak more like the digital character. First there was the rubber-hand illusion, a classic experiment that showed syncing up someone’s touch perceptions with what they see happening […]The post Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 43 views

Does Playtime for Cats Reduce Behaviour Problems?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Does few toys and no play equal issues with your cat?Photo: XSeon / ShutterstockA new survey of cat owners by Beth Strickler and Elizabeth Shull investigates how many toys the average cat has, how often their owner plays with them, and whether there is a link with behaviour problems. Since behaviour problems are a common reason for cats to be surrendered to shelters and so many cats are euthanized every year, it’s important to understand how meeting the behavioural needs of cats can lead to fe........ Read more »

Ellis, S., Rodan, I., Carney, H., Heath, S., Rochlitz, I., Shearburn, L., Sundahl, E., & Westropp, J. (2013) AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15(3), 219-230. DOI: 10.1177/1098612X13477537  

Strickler, B., & Shull, E. (2014) An owner survey of toys, activities, and behavior problems in indoor cats. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(5), 207-214. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.06.005  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 07:37 AM
  • 60 views

A Sex Researcher At A Furry Convention

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A report in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour describes an unusual field trip made by Canadian researcher Debra W. Soh – to a furry convention, expecting to witness some kind of sexual free-for-all (or free-fur-all). Soh opens by saying that I couldn’t wait to meet a furry, someone who adopts the identity or persona […]The post A Sex Researcher At A Furry Convention appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Soh DW, & Cantor JM. (2014) A Peek Inside a Furry Convention. Archives of Sexual Behavior. PMID: 25408500  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 07:23 AM
  • 44 views

November 26, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

 Patterns are soothing for left-brained folks like me, with the exception being those terrible patterned holiday sweaters that will come out of mothball-ridden closets soon (unsettling for everyone, really). Today’s images are from a paper describing a new micropatterning technique to look at plasma membrane proteins. The plasma membrane of a cell is riddled with many multi-protein complexes that facilitate communication and transport. These complexes provide a challenge to biologi........ Read more »

Lochte, S., Waichman, S., Beutel, O., You, C., & Piehler, J. (2014) Live cell micropatterning reveals the dynamics of signaling complexes at the plasma membrane. originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology, 207(3), 407-418. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201406032  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 07:12 AM
  • 44 views

Thanksgiving week, light posting. One holiday genome (cranberries).

by Mary in OpenHelix

There’s nobody reading the blog this week each year, everyone is traveling or napping, at least in the US. So I’ll just bring a holiday genome I came across recently. Cranberries. This fruit is one of very few native North American fruits that are widely cultivated. I went looking to see if a genome paper […]... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 04:54 AM
  • 54 views

The gut microbiome in Down Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The recent preliminary findings from Elena Biagi and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting on the constitution of the gut microbiome - the collected bacteria which reside in the deepest, darkest recesses of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract - in a small number of cases of Down's syndrome caught my eye recently.It's a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragonPerhaps a little bit unusually looking at the gut microbiome because of the link between premature ageing in Down's syndrome ........ Read more »

Biagi E, Candela M, Centanni M, Consolandi C, Rampelli S, Turroni S, Severgnini M, Peano C, Ghezzo A, Scurti M.... (2014) Gut Microbiome in Down Syndrome. PloS one, 9(11). PMID: 25386941  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 02:42 AM
  • 50 views

Design for Postponement

by Andreas Wieland in Supply Chain Management Research

Today, I would like to draw your attention to one of my favorite articles in the field of supply chain management: Design for Postponement by Swaminathan & Lee (2003). The article identifies three key postponement enablers: First, process standardization, where the initial steps of a process are standardized across a product line and distinct personalities […]... Read more »

Swaminathan, J.M., & Lee, H.L. (2003) Design for Postponement. Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science, 199-226. DOI: 10.1016/S0927-0507(03)11005-5  

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