Post List

  • October 11, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 97 views

Yet more air pollution and autism risk research

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Air pollution and autism risk. It's a topic which has cropped up a few times on this blog (see here and see here and see here) with the majority of the research (but not all) suggesting that there may be something to see when it comes to such a correlation.Enter then the paper by Amy Kalkbrenner and colleagues [1] to proceedings, and their conclusion: "Our study adds to previous work in California showing a relation between traffic-related air pollution and autism, and adds similar findings in a........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 11:26 PM
  • 82 views

The red of bearded vultures—allure or cure?

by Yao-Hua Law in TORCH

[This story first appeared on Earth Touch News] Soaring high among the mountains from Europe to China and to Africa, the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) commands attention at any lunch party. It likes to gate crash into the frenzy around carrion, pushing other scavengers aside with wings that could stretch the height of Michael Jordan, […]... Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 11:09 PM
  • 50 views

Axon Guidance Meets Statistical Physics

by Wadsworth in Wadsworth Guidance

The proposition that the response of an axon to guidance cues is a random walk provides a different perspective of axon guidance.For the most part, Biologists like deterministic models, i.e. cause and effect.  From the deterministic point-of-view, axon guidance is caused when axon outgrowth activity occurs at the site where the neuron detects an external attractive guidance cue. But what if the direction of axon outgrowth activity were to rapidly fluctuates in different directions?  In this ........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 05:49 PM
  • 117 views

How the Brain Heals After a Stroke

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You have all the brain cells you'll ever have when you reach adulthood. That was the science lesson I was taught in high school from, maybe a misguided teacher, or maybe just misinformed, I do not know. That statement however is not true, we know that the brain is very plastic and ever changing. It's resilience still amazes us, even today with all that we know about it. Now a previously unknown mechanism through which the brain produces new nerve cells after a stroke has been discovered, showing........ Read more »

Magnusson, J., Goritz, C., Tatarishvili, J., Dias, D., Smith, E., Lindvall, O., Kokaia, Z., & Frisen, J. (2014) A latent neurogenic program in astrocytes regulated by Notch signaling in the mouse. Science, 346(6206), 237-241. DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6206.237  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 11:54 AM
  • 74 views

A "parsimonious" Bayesian supertree model for estimating species trees

by Leonardo Martins in bioMCMC

When we have sequence alignments regarding several genes from a group of taxa, we usually want to extract the phylogenetic information common to all of them. However, in many cases such phylogenomic analyses depend on selecting one sequence from each species per gene family (=alignment), or excluding paralogs, or partitioning these paralogous sequences into loci, or utilizing only gene families without apparent paralogs. If we want to analyse all our data at once, without excluding sequences or ........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 104 views

Ebola Virus VP40 -A protein straight out of “transformers”

by Clay Clark in Biochem Blogs

  Ebola. Just the word is enough to make people panic. Well “Ebola” is actually just a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course when they hear the word, most people think about the deadly virus discovered near this river in 1976. To clarify the terminology, “Ebola” is the river; “Ebolavirus” is […]... Read more »

Bornholdt Zachary A., Dafna M. Abelson, Peter Halfmann, Malcolm R. Wood, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, & Erica Ollmann Saphire. (2013) Structural Rearrangement of Ebola Virus VP40 Begets Multiple Functions in the Virus Life Cycle. Cell, 154(4), 763-774. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.07.015  

Feldmann Heinz. (2011) Ebola haemorrhagic fever. The Lancet, 377(9768), 849-862. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(10)60667-8  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 09:22 AM
  • 64 views

How sharing a toilet helps students make more friends

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The built environment shapes our behaviour profoundly - piazzas and park benches promote unplanned encounters between strangers whereas car-friendly streets have the opposite effect, the efficiency of speedy travel promoting "streets as corridors" over "streets as sociable space".What’s true at the level of cities also applies within buildings, including student residences. This has been investigated in the past, one famous example being Leon Festinger’s 1950 study that suggested students fo........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 108 views

For Disguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Did you know this week is International Cephalopod Awareness Days? I’ll assume your gifts are in the mail. Today is dedicated to squid, and you can’t have total cephalopod awareness without discussing fake squid testes. This post was first published in September 2013. The best way to stay out of trouble, if you’re a shimmery, […]The post For Disguise, Female Squid Turn On Fake Testes appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

DeMartini DG, Ghoshal A, Pandolfi E, Weaver AT, Baum M, & Morse DE. (2013) Dynamic biophotonics: female squid exhibit sexually dimorphic tunable leucophores and iridocytes. The Journal of experimental biology, 216(Pt 19), 3733-41. PMID: 24006348  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 109 views

Fly Life: How to name your new fruit fly gene (and what not to name it)

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

When it comes to genetic research, fruit flies take the spotlight. They are often used to study specific genes, and researchers who find new genes get the privilege of naming them. The best way to study a gene is to mutate it and see what happens when the gene’s function is lost. As a result, […]... Read more »

Choudhry Zia, Adnan Maqsood Choudhry, Sadaf Tariq, Fozia Zakaria, Muhammad Waheed Asghar, Muhammad Khan Sarfraz, Kamran Haider, Afia Ansar Shafiq, & Nusrat Jahan Mobassarah. (2014) Sonic hedgehog signalling pathway: a complex network. Annals of Neurosciences, 21(1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5214/ans.0972.7531.210109  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 07:55 AM
  • 117 views

The Friday Five for 10/10/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Paralyzed rats walk again, origins of AIDS, science of touching and kissing, and how to tell if you're dying.... Read more »

Wenger N, Moraud EM, Raspopovic S, Bonizzato M, DiGiovanna J, Musienko P, Morari M, Micera S, & Courtine G. (2014) Closed-loop neuromodulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits controls refined locomotion after complete spinal cord injury. Science translational medicine, 6(255). PMID: 25253676  

Pinto, J., Wroblewski, K., Kern, D., Schumm, L., & McClintock, M. (2014) Olfactory Dysfunction Predicts 5-Year Mortality in Older Adults. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107541  

Faria, N., Rambaut, A., Suchard, M., Baele, G., Bedford, T., Ward, M., Tatem, A., Sousa, J., Arinaminpathy, N., Pepin, J.... (2014) The early spread and epidemic ignition of HIV-1 in human populations. Science, 346(6205), 56-61. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256739  

  • October 10, 2014
  • 04:50 AM
  • 55 views

Little Albert - one of the most famous research participants in psychology's history, but who was he?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In 1920, in what would become one of the most infamous and controversial studies in psychology, a pair of researchers at Johns Hopkins University taught a little baby boy to fear a white rat. For decades, the true identity and subsequent fate of this poor infant nicknamed "Little Albert" has remained a mystery.But recently this has changed, thanks to the tireless detective work of two independent groups of scholars. Now there are competing proposals for who Little Albert was and what became of h........ Read more »

Richard Griggs. (2015) Psychology's Lost Boy: Will The Real Little Albert Please Stand Up?. Teaching of Psychology. info:/

  • October 10, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 97 views

Vitamin D supplement improves autistic behaviours?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to get too ahead of myself with this post talking about the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues [1] (open-access) who concluded: "Vitamin D supplementation may be effective in ameliorating the autistic behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorders [ASDs]".The idea however that issues with vitamin D seemingly present in quite a few cases of ASD [2] (see here too) but not all [3] might actually have more direct consequences for behavioural presentation ........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2014
  • 03:00 AM
  • 76 views

The Amsterdam Patient Charter for Global Kidney Cancer Care

by Lizzie Perdeaux in BHD Research Blog

Kidney cancer patients face a number of challenges, such as lack of awareness both by patients and their doctors, difficulty getting a diagnosis, limited access to treatment, inappropriate treatment, lack of information and lack of support. Given that there were … Continue reading →... Read more »

Giles RH, Maskens D, & the International Kidney Cancer Coalition. (2014) Amsterdam Patient Charter for Global Kidney Cancer Care. European urology. PMID: 25257033  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 11:07 PM
  • 112 views

Gaining a Green Thumb for Grassroots Language Activism

by Alexandra Grey in Language on the Move

I was surprised, frankly, during my recent fieldwork to find Zhuang language being used in a QQ chatroom in China. Surprised because Zhuang text is absent from the linguistic landscape. Surprised because many of my interview participants reported they had … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cru, Josep. (2014) Language Revitalisation from the Ground Up: Promoting Yucatec Maya on Facebook. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-13. info:/10.1080/01434632.2014.921184

  • October 9, 2014
  • 10:15 PM
  • 99 views

Ecology of cancer: mimicry, eco-engineers, morphostats, and nutrition

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of my favorite parts of mathematical modeling is the opportunities it provides to carefully explore metaphors and analogies between disciplines. The connection most carefully explored at the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer was, as you can guess from the name, between ecology and oncology. Looking at cancer from the perspective […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:50 PM
  • 124 views

Fluoridation, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Water

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Most of us have heard the famous line by General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, "have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?" The conversation thereafter satirically illustrated a fear that grew most prominent starting in the 1940s with the Second Red Scare -- public water fluoridation. Many conspiracy theories about water fluoridation arose during this time, but they all aimed to make the same case: that fluoride in drinking water is bad (sometimes just meaning unethical),........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 08:28 PM
  • 55 views

Random Walks, the Brain Initiative, and the Genius of Einstein's Brain

by Wadsworth in Wadsworth Guidance

Over a four-month period in 1905, Einstein published a series of remarkable papers that changed our conception of time and space.
Even more remarkable is the instrument that enabled Einstein to unlock the mysteries of time and space.  His brain.  Credit: internetarchivebookimages
Some100 billion neurons allowed Einstein to think.  And in order to do this, the neurons in Einstein's developing brain formed a network of neural circuits.  By sending out process........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 08:06 PM
  • 111 views

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Mental Health – What Does it Take ?

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

“These are ways of treating illness that have developed outside the mainstream of modern medicine.” (The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2009) There is growing evidence that Complementary Therapies are being used to good effect within mental health services throughout the UK and Internationally. Many clinicians are expanding the spectrum and variety of services to be offered to patients/clients both in the hospital and in the community. In recent years complementary therapies have become inc........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:10 PM
  • 114 views

Solar Panel Hybrid is Cheap and Super Efficient

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar cells are inefficient, it’s a sad fact. With todays technology they boast about a 10-15% efficiency, compare that to todays gas engine at roughly 20-25% and you can see it’s not quite up to par. Well that could all change very soon thanks to a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors. This could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells to as close as 100% efficiency as they can get.... Read more »

Tabachnyk M, Ehrler B, Gélinas S, Böhm ML, Walker BJ, Musselman KP, Greenham NC, Friend RH, & Rao A. (2014) Resonant energy transfer of triplet excitons from pentacene to PbSe nanocrystals. Nature materials. PMID: 25282509  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 89 views

October 9, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

As Tom and Jerry have proven time and time again, repulsive forces are serious business and highly entertaining. Today’s image is from a paper describing how different cell types repel one another to help create boundaries between tissues. The study of how cells adhere to or repel one another is an important field of study in developmental biology. Ephrin ligands and their respective Eph receptors trigger repulsive cues between cells of different types. Many different tissue types expr........ Read more »

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