Post List

  • January 20, 2015
  • 09:45 AM
  • 78 views

Misconceptions Never Die. They Just Fade Away.

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

In a post on my precision principle, I made a fairly humdrum observation about a typical elementary-level geometry question:

Why can we so easily figure out the logics that lead to the incorrect answers? It seems like a silly question, but I mean it to be a serious one. At some level, this should be a bizarre ability, shouldn't it? . . . . The answer is that we can easily switch back and forth between different "versions" of the truth.... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 73 views

Mostly Dead, but Slightly Alive: The Life After Death of Dismembered Remains in Ancient Peru

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

In the Princess Bride, the deceased body of Westley is brought to Miracle Max in order to bring him back to life. Famously, May says ‘There’s a big difference between mostly dead […]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 71 views

The Electrical Grid Needs Fattening Up

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Make hay while the sun shines is the great lesson from renewable energy. Solar and wind have to be harvested when they occur, or they are lost forever. But how do you store that energy if the national grid doesn’t need it at that moment? Large-scale energy storage is the wave of the future – including pumping air or hydrogen gas into abandoned mines or running the national grid from all our electric cars.... Read more »

F. K. Tuffner, Member, IEEE, and M. Kintner-Meyer, Member, IEEE. (2011) Using Electric Vehicles to Mitigate Imbalance Requirements Associated with an Increased Penetration of Wind Generation. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE , 1-8. info:/

  • January 20, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 14 views

When our beliefs are threatened by facts, we turn to unfalsifiable justifications

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

On being told physics could underminereligious claims, believers said faithwas more about living a moral lifeIt's great to have facts on your side. The fundamentalist is delighted by the archaeological find that tallies with scripture, just as the atheist seizes on the evidence that contradicts it. But when the evidence goes against us, we're less likely to change a belief than to criticise the validity or provenance of the evidence. Now, research suggests that the mere prospect of a factua........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 04:56 AM
  • 79 views

Autism and low vitamin D at birth

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Discussions about vitamin D (the 'sunshine' vitamin/hormone) and autism are not unfamiliar to this blog. Just last year (2014) I covered research talking about the possibility of a connection between vitamin D and [some] autism at least three times (see here and see here and see here), possibly more...but in my game, I'm the bad guy, and I live in the garbage.I wouldn't say that I'm an advocate for everything implied by the correlations being made between vitamin D levels and autism given that v........ Read more »

Elisabeth Fernell, Susanne Bejerot, Joakim Westerlund, Carmela Miniscalco, Henry Simila, Darryl Eyles, Christopher Gillberg, & Mats B Humble. (2015) Autism spectrum disorder and low vitamin D at birth: a sibling control study. Molecular Autism. info:/10.1186/2040-2392-6-3

  • January 20, 2015
  • 03:20 AM
  • 9 views

On the Importance of Data Scavengers!

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




Some while ago a student asked us if we were collecting data in the marine ecological group at CEES. We were forced to acknowledge that we were not. From this follows a real
cri de coeur: “but we are only scavengers!” Are we really? If we are, is it all bad?

... Read more »

Stenseth, N., Bjornstad, O., & Saitoh, T. (1996) A Gradient from Stable to Cyclic Populations of Clethrionomys rufocanus in Hokkaido, Japan. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 263(1374), 1117-1126. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1996.0164  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 11:45 PM
  • 93 views

What makes a discipline ‘mathematical’?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

While walking to work on Friday, I was catching up on one of my favorite podcasts: The History of Philosophy without any Gaps. To celebrate the podcast’s 200th episode, Peter Adamson was interviewing Jill Kraye and John Marenbon on medieval philosophy. The podcasts was largely concerned with where we should define the temporal boundaries of […]... Read more »

Sylla, Edith D. (2011) Oxford Calculators. Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy, 903-908. DOI: 10.1007/SpringerReference_187789  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 07:33 PM
  • 121 views

Menage-a-trois no more: new design removes need for conductive additives and polymers in battery electrodes

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

An ingenious new battery design removes the need for conductive additives and polymers required in conventional designs. This reduces material use, increasing energy density and has the potential to decreases costs!... Read more »

Kirshenbaum, K., Bock, D., Lee, C., Zhong, Z., Takeuchi, K., Marschilok, A., & Takeuchi, E. (2015) In situ visualization of Li/Ag2VP2O8 batteries revealing rate-dependent discharge mechanism. Science, 347(6218), 149-154. DOI: 10.1126/science.1257289  

Dudney, N., & Li, J. (2015) Using all energy in a battery. Science, 347(6218), 131-132. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2870  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 03:05 PM
  • 107 views

Fear, PTSD, and newly found neural circuits in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People with anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often experience prolonged and exaggerated fearfulness. Now, an animal study suggests that this might involve disruption of a gradual shifting of brain circuitry for retrieving fear memories. Researchers have discovered in rats that an old fear memory is recalled by a separate brain pathway from the one originally used to recall it when it was fresh.... Read more »

Penzo MA, Robert V, Tucciarone J, De Bundel D, Wang M, Van Aeist L, Varvas M, Parada LF, Palmiter R, He M, Huang ZJ, Li B. . (2015) The paraventricular thalamus controls a central amygdala fear circuit. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13978  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 97 views

Mediterranean Diet and Aging

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is a growing research body of evidence to support beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet on brain health.In previous posts I have reviewed research on the Mediterranean diet and:Cognitive DeclineAlzheimer's Disease PreventionA recent study adds an important element in potential mechanisms for the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet.Marta Crous-Bou and colleauges from Harvard University and the University of Washington published a study of the Mediterranean diet and chromosome ........ Read more »

Crous-Bou M, Fung TT, Prescott J, Julin B, Du M, Sun Q, Rexrode KM, Hu FB, & De Vivo I. (2014) Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses' Health Study: population based cohort study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25467028  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 70 views

Float like a jellyfish, sting like a bee

by James Dunce in Antisense Science

A brief article describing the mechanism by which jellyfish administer venom via the sub-cellular proteo-machinery that is the nematocyst. Further, I introduce the composition of venoms and describe the mechanism by which mellitin, a toxin found in bee venom, causes haemolysis.... Read more »

  • January 19, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 33 views

Positive emotions may reduce racist perception

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

As tempting as it can be to dismiss the fanciful sounding ideas of “the power of a positive attitude”, every now and then a scientific study will show that positive emotions reach into unexpected corners of our brains to tweak our thoughts and actions in small yet significant ways. As one example, simply being joyful or amused may chip away at a cornerstone of racism.... Read more »

Johnson, K. J., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2005) "We all look the same to me": Positive emotions eliminate the own-race bias. Psychological Science, 16(11), 875-881. info:/

  • January 19, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 66 views

Animals can adapt, but not enough to stay ahead of climate change

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

To better predict how resilient cold-blooded animals are to climate change, Australian researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland combed through over 4,000 papers looking for data on how ectotherms change their physiology in response to changes in external temperature. They used data from 205 studies published between 1968 and 2012 to generate the largest database on physiological adaptability in cold-blooded animals.... Read more »

  • January 19, 2015
  • 06:57 AM
  • 29 views

Another sensory channel

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is another recent discovery to highlight how little we know about our nervous system. Theories are accepted because we believe we have a handle on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and biophysics of the nervous systems. But the ‘facts’ change regularly. This time it is connections between the gut and the brain – a direct […]... Read more »

Bohórquez, D., Shahid, R., Erdmann, A., Kreger, A., Wang, Y., Calakos, N., Wang, F., & Liddle, R. (2015) Neuroepithelial circuit formed by innervation of sensory enteroendocrine cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI78361  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 05:32 AM
  • 88 views

Interfering With Traumatic Memories of the Boston Marathon Bombings

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured hundreds of others near the finish line of the iconic footrace. The oldest and most prominent marathon in the world, Boston attracts over 20,000 runners and 500,000 spectators. The terrorist act shocked and traumatized and unified the city.What should the survivors do with their traumatic memories of the event? Many with disabling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receive therapy to lessen the impact of the trauma........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2015
  • 04:28 AM
  • 77 views

Taking care of mum following receipt of an offspring autism diagnosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The commentary by Elizabeth Karp & Alice Kuo [1] recently published in JAMA brought my attention back to the 2014 findings from Emily Feinberg and colleagues [2] (open-access) reporting on: "positive effects of PSE [problem-solving education] in reducing parenting stress and depressive symptoms during the critical postdiagnosis period" - that is, moves to taking care of maternal mental health after a child receives a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).This i........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2015
  • 12:25 AM
  • 98 views

Magic Mushroom Users who get High without Drugs

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

A study comparing peak experiences - what a person considers their most wonderful life experience - in psilocybin users with non-users, found that some users said their most intense peak experience had occurred when they were not under the influence of drugs, even though it involved a profound alteration of consciousness similar to that produced by psilocybin. One possible implication of this study is that psilocybin could have lasting effects on a person’s ability to enter altered states of c........ Read more »

Cummins C, & Lyke J. (2013) Peak experiences of psilocybin users and non-users. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 45(2), 189-94. PMID: 23909006  

  • January 19, 2015
  • 12:05 AM
  • 59 views

Lystedt-Type Laws Are Effective in Assisting Concussion Management

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Legislation regulating pediatric concussion injury management seems to be effective. From 2009-20012 states with legislation had a 92% increase in concussion-related health care utilization while states without legislation had a 75% increase.... Read more »

  • January 18, 2015
  • 03:06 PM
  • 84 views

Stem cells derived from amniotic tissues have immunosuppressive properties

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Stem cells derived from human amnion have for some time been considered promising for cell therapies because of their ease of access, ability to differentiate, and absence of ethical issues. Now, a research team has found that stem cells derived from human female amnion also have immunosuppressive activity and that the addition of antibodies to specific factors can enhance their immunosuppressive potential.... Read more »

  • January 18, 2015
  • 02:16 PM
  • 72 views

Whose Culture is it Anyway? Disentangling Culture and Eating Disorders - Part 1

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders

Often, in writing about eating disorders, you will come across references to how some consider these disorders to be “culture bound.” If you start to unpack what researchers and clinicians are referring to, you might come to the conclusion that “culture bound” means specific to one particular culture or society, for example, modern Western society.... Read more »

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