Post List

  • March 29, 2016
  • 04:31 PM
  • 217 views

Carb-loading and your heart, you may want to put the pasta down…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

So if you are one of the bodybuilders, powerlifters, marathon runners, or just people who like to binge-eat every now and then — no judgment all you can eat pizza day is a thing I’m told telling myself — there is some bad news. If you like to preload carbs like they are the magic bullet to your workout woes, you may want to rethink it because according to a new study, it can have an acute and detrimental effect on heart function.

... Read more »

Arora, P., Wu, C., Hamid, T., Arora, G., Agha, O., Allen, K., Tainsh, R., Hu, D., Ryan, R., Domian, I.... (2016) Acute Metabolic Influences on the Natriuretic Peptide System in Humans. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 67(7), 804-812. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.049  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 12:38 PM
  • 213 views

These Birds Learn to Recognize Humans They Hate

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish





Antarctic seabirds called skuas are so clever that they can recognize individual humans after seeing them only a few times. Some Korean researchers discovered this by messing with the birds' nests and then waiting to get attacked. They're either very brave or have never watched The Birds.

The study took place on Antarctica's King George Island. The animals here didn't evolve around humans. People have only been making appearances on the island since the 1950s or so. Today 10 countr........ Read more »

Lee, W., Han, Y., Lee, S., Jablonski, P., Jung, J., & Kim, J. (2016) Antarctic skuas recognize individual humans. Animal Cognition. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-016-0970-9  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 11:30 AM
  • 216 views

Do you wanna be in my clan? Moralising gods encourage long-distance sharing with co-religionists

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Most gods that have been invented don’t give a damn about what us mortals get up to. Researchers think that  belief in the few that do, the ones that can be thought of as moralising gods, might have a significant effect on behaviour. For example, more complex societies are more likely to believe in moralising [Read More...]... Read more »

Purzycki, B., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R., Willard, A., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016) Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature16980  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 10:12 AM
  • 184 views

Rogue Editors at a Psychiatry Journal?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



A group of Indian psychiatrists have raised concern over suspicious similarities between three papers published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine (IJPM). Their allegations have just been published, also in the same journal.


The authors, Girish Banwari and colleagues, focus on a 2015 paper about the use of the drug modafinil in treating schizophrenia. Banwari et al. say that this article
Contains no data at all and that only one reference was cited in the bibliography. A l... Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 10:01 AM
  • 222 views

Nostalgia is a Muse

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

This view has been challenged by the University of Southampton researchers Constantine Sedikides and Tim Wildschut, who have spent the past decade studying the benefits of nostalgia. Not only do they disavow its disease status, they have conducted numerous studies which suggest that nostalgia can make us more creative, open-minded and charitable. The definition of nostalgia used by Sedikides and Wildschut as a "sentimental longing for one's past" is based on the contemporary usage........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 07:33 AM
  • 187 views

Springtime nature goo

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Here in Southern Ontario, spring is in the process of being sprung. This means warmer temperatures and lots of rain, which can bring about the appearance of various sorts of goo. That's right, goo. Time for some photos!... Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 06:53 AM
  • 175 views

Fairness In Science: What For?

by Francisco Azuaje in United Academics

Why is the quest for fairness in science still relevant today?... Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 03:44 AM
  • 151 views

Mind wide open – brain activity reveals motives behind people’s altruism

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Sofia DelenivWe often want to know what’s driving other people’s actions. Does the politician who visited a refugee camp on the eve of elections truly care for the poverty-stricken? In reality of course, our mind reading skills are pretty limited and something as complex as an apparent act of altruism can disguise a huge diversity of motives. Most of the time, these motives remain entirely private to the individual – a driving force in a black box.For a new paper publ........ Read more »

Hein G, Morishima Y, Leiberg S, Sul S, & Fehr E. (2016) The brain's functional network architecture reveals human motives. Science (New York, N.Y.), 351(6277), 1074-8. PMID: 26941317  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 02:54 AM
  • 162 views

On the use of risperidone and young children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Without trying to scaremonger, it is already well known that certain anti-psychotics potentially indicated for some of the more 'challenging behaviours' associated with conditions like autism for example, carry their own important side-effects. Risperidone, one of the more commonly used medicines, has quite an extensive list of possible side-effects, some of which have been previously mentioned on this blog (see here). Increased appetite and weight gain are some of the more commonly observed sid........ Read more »

Scahill, L., Jeon, S., Boorin, S., McDougle, C., Aman, M., Dziura, J., McCracken, J., Caprio, S., Arnold, L., Nicol, G.... (2016) Weight Gain and Metabolic Consequences of Risperidone in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child . DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.02.016  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 11:00 PM
  • 133 views

Minimum Viable Cell

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Craig Venter is on a quest to find the Minimal bacterial genome. It seems the task is 70% complete now. We still don’t understand 30% of the minimum viable organism that we are able to build today, which means that, although we cannot understand what we cannot build, we need not necessarily understand what we can build.... Read more »

Hutchison, C., Chuang, R., Noskov, V., Assad-Garcia, N., Deerinck, T., Ellisman, M., Gill, J., Kannan, K., Karas, B., Ma, L.... (2016) Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome. Science, 351(6280). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 03:03 PM
  • 226 views

Spoiler alert: Water bears do not have extensive foreign DNA

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tardigrades, they are cute and cuddly — okay maybe not cuddly — but they have earned their nicknames, such as as moss piglets or water bears. Mostly because they look like, well bears (although I don’t see a piglet personally). These guys are eight-legged microscopic animals that have long fascinated scientists for their ability to survive extremes of temperature, pressure, lack of oxygen, and even radiation exposure. Talk about a thrill seeker they can even survive in space, without a sui........ Read more »

Georgios Koutsovoulosa, Sujai Kumara, Dominik R. Laetsch, Lewis Stevens, Jennifer Daub Claire Conlon, Habib Maroon, Fran Thomasa, Aziz A. Aboobakerc, and Mark Blaxter. (2016) No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. PNAS. DOI: 10.1101/033464  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 170 views

Inner Reading Voices: “Mine sometimes yell at me…” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

When doing pretrial research we have occasionally had mock jurors show up who were inebriated or high (yes, even at 7:45am), hostile or disruptive, confused more than the average person or obviously hearing voices or responding to companions no one else could see. Yes. Occasionally people with obviously serious psychiatric disorders make it through the […]

Related posts:
Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 
What’s that book you’re reading as you wait to be impane........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2016
  • 04:31 AM
  • 189 views

The genetics of self-injurious behaviour accompanying autism? Not quite...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'd like to start by making one thing abundantly clear about today's post: I am not insinuating that self-injurious behaviour (SIB) accompanying autism is solely under genetic (or epigenetic) control.As I've discussed before on this blog, there are potentially many, many reasons why SIB under the umbrella of the so-called 'challenging behaviours' occurs (see here). As and when it does happen, the onus is on those significant others to turn detective before anyone immediately reaches for somethin........ Read more »

Shirley, M., Frelin, L., López, J., Jedlicka, A., Dziedzic, A., Frank-Crawford, M., Silverman, W., Hagopian, L., & Pevsner, J. (2016) Copy Number Variants Associated with 14 Cases of Self-Injurious Behavior. PLOS ONE, 11(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149646  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 164 views

9-Point Survey to Determine Risk of Persistent Postconcusison Symptoms in Pediatric Population

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

A novel clinical risk score developed for the acutely concussed pediatric population has a modest ability to discriminate between those at low, medium, or high risk for persistent postconcussion symptoms at 28 days.... Read more »

Zemek R, Barrowman N, Freedman SB, Gravel J, Gagnon I, McGahern C, Aglipay M, Sangha G, Boutis K, Beer D.... (2016) Clinical Risk Score for Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms Among Children With Acute Concussion in the ED. JAMA, 315(10), 1014-25. PMID: 26954410  

  • March 27, 2016
  • 09:03 PM
  • 222 views

Everybody Loves Dopamine

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Dopamine is love. Dopamine is reward. Dopamine is addiction.Neuroscientists have a love/hate relationship with how this monoamine neurotransmitter is portrayed in the popular press.wwlp.comthestranger.com[The claim of vagus nerve-stimulating headphones is worth a post in its own right.]observer.com“You can fold your laundry, but you can’t fold your dopamine.”- James Cole Abrams, M.A. (in Contemplative Psychotherapy)The word dopamine has become a shorthand for positive reinforcement, whethe........ Read more »

  • March 27, 2016
  • 03:33 PM
  • 206 views

Modified maggots could help human wound healing

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When most of us think maggots, we probably don’t think anything good, but maybe we should start. In a proof-of-concept study, researchers have shown that genetically engineered green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) larvae can produce and secrete a human growth factor – a molecule that helps promote cell growth and wound healing.

... Read more »

  • March 27, 2016
  • 10:24 AM
  • 195 views

Responses to Typos and Personality: "Grammar Nazis" Confirmed?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Do you haet typos? If you spot a grammo (a grammatical error), does your blood boil?

Some people are more offended by these kinds of linguistic errors than others, but why? Ann Arbor psychologists Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen examine this in a new PLOS ONE paper called If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages



The authors recruited 83 volunteers (on MTurk) and asked them to imagine that they'd placed an... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 180 views

Don’t treat the player, treat the game: buffer therapy and bevacizumab

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

No matter how much I like modeling for the sake of modeling, or science for the sake of science, working in a hospital adds some constraints. At some point people look over at you measuring games in the Petri dish and ask “why are you doing this?” They expect an answer that involves something that […]... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 04:40 PM
  • 215 views

Organic nanowires destroy the competition

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Last month, we spoke of our vision of the future of humanity here at the lab. It makes sense that humanity would one-day step away from the static, non-living computer constructs we have designed. Moving us instead towards an organic alternative, one that can be readily repaired, replaced, or changed. While we cannot pretend to know what the future may hold, a new discovery helps bolster the stance we presented.

... Read more »

Lampa-Pastirk, S., Veazey, J., Walsh, K., Feliciano, G., Steidl, R., Tessmer, S., & Reguera, G. (2016) Thermally activated charge transport in microbial protein nanowires. Scientific Reports, 23517. DOI: 10.1038/srep23517  

  • March 26, 2016
  • 04:58 AM
  • 210 views

The 'disrupted connectivity hypothesis of autism': where next?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'The disrupted connectivity hypothesis of autism spectrum disorders: Time for the next phase in research' went the title of the paper by Roma Vasa and colleagues [1].Disrupted connectivity by the way, refers to the idea that "deficiencies in the way the brain coordinates and synchronizes activity amongst different regions may account for the clinical symptoms of ASD [autism spectrum disorders]." Picture if you will, the brain as a serious of telephone wires all connecting different parts of........ Read more »

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