Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues  suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by mea........ Read more »
Viruses are important in making us smarter by improving the basic functions of the brain, especially the regulation of gene expressions.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have found that millions of year’s old inherited viruses can have special impact on the development of complex networks in the brain of human beings.
Previously, it was clear that endogenous retroviruses make nearly 5% of DNA of human beings,........ Read more »
Fasching, L., Kapopoulou, A., Sachdeva, R., Petri, R., Jönsson, M., Männe, C., Turelli, P., Jern, P., Cammas, F., Trono, D.... (2015) TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells. Cell Reports, 10(1), 20-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.004
Passion and motivation are strange and confusing facets of being. Many things about them feel paradoxical. For example, I really enjoy writing, categorizing, and — obviously, if you’ve read many of the introductory paragraphs on TheEGG — blabbing on far too long about myself. So you’d expect that I would have been extremely motivated to […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. arXiv: 1405.0041v1
The well-known global warming hiatus since 2000 has been partially explained by recent data from satellite measurements showing that sulfate emissions from volcanic eruptions is reflecting incoming sunlight.... Read more »
Santer, B., Solomon, S., Bonfils, C., Zelinka, M., Painter, J., Beltran, F., Fyfe, J., Johannesson, G., Mears, C., Ridley, D.... (2014) Observed multi-variable signals of late 20th and early 21st century volcanic activity. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062366
You really don’t hear much about mass die-offs from mainstream news outlets; this might make you think they don’t happen that often. However, an analysis of 727 mass die-offs of nearly 2,500 animal species from the past 70 years has found that such events are increasing among birds, fish, and marine invertebrates. At the same time, the number of individuals killed appears to be decreasing for reptiles and amphibians, and is unchanged for mammals.... Read more »
Samuel B. Fey, Adam M. Siepielski, Sébastien Nusslé, Kristina Cervantes-Yoshida, Jason L. Hwan, Eric R. Huber, Maxfield J. Fey, Alessandro Catenazzi, & Stephanie M. Carlson. (2015) Recent shifts in the occurrence, cause, and magnitude of animal mass mortality events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1414894112
Dietary intake of whole grains and fiber shows consistent beneficial effects on a variety of health and mortality measures.In a post in 2011, I reviewed study results from the NIH-AARP cohort. That study reported reduced cardiovascular disease but not cancer in men and women with the highest fiber intake.A recent Harvard University study examined mortality risk in a group of U.S. health professionals grouped by level of whole grain intake.Participants in this study were over 118,000 men and wome........ Read more »
Wu H, Flint AJ, Qi Q, van Dam RM, Sampson LA, Rimm EB, Holmes MD, Willett WC, Hu FB, & Sun Q. (2015) Association Between Dietary Whole Grain Intake and Risk of Mortality: Two Large Prospective Studies in US Men and Women. JAMA internal medicine. PMID: 25559238
We are all familiar with the concept of the personality of an individual. We are less familiar with group- or collective personalities (although most teachers can tell you at length about the personalities of each of their classes). The concept is the same: whereas an individual personality relates to an individual’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts, a collective personality relates to a group’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts. Collective personalities can be stron........ Read more »
Modlmeier, A., Forrester, N., & Pruitt, J. (2014) Habitat structure helps guide the emergence of colony-level personality in social spiders. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 68(12), 1965-1972. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-014-1802-z
The idea that mental illness is related to brain abnormalities or other biological factors is popular among some patients; they say it demystifies their experiences and lends legitimacy to their symptoms. However, studies show that biological explanations can increase mental health stigma, encouraging the public perception that people with mental illness are essentially different, and that their problems are permanent. Now Matthew Lebowitz and Woo-young Ahn have published new evidence that sugge........ Read more »
Lebowitz, M., & Ahn, W. (2014) Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians’ empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(50), 17786-17790. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414058111
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but will a bad mood a day bring the doctor running? Perhaps, but it may depend on what your culture thinks about bad moods.... Read more »
Curhan KB, Sims T, Markus HR, Kitayama S, Karasawa M, Kawakami N, Love GD, Coe CL, Miyamoto Y, & Ryff CD. (2014) Just how bad negative affect is for your health depends on culture. Psychological science, 25(12), 2277-80. PMID: 25304884
“Pee after sex” is perhaps one of the most memorable pieces of advice I’ve picked up in conversations with female friends over the years. The theory is that peeing right after sex will help to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your body during sex and prevent them from infecting your urinary tract.... Read more »
Schwartz, D., Conover, M., Hannan, T., & Hultgren, S. (2015) Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Superinfection Enhances the Severity of Mouse Bladder Infection. PLoS Pathogens, 11(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004599
For most people ghosts and spirits are part of the imaginary, but a few are truly convinced they can sometimes feel a strange presence near them. These individuals are not experiencing a paranormal phenomenon—they’re having an illusion. Schizophrenics, for instance, consistently report hearing voices or feeling someone—a ‘shadow’ or a ‘man’—close to them. Scientists have long known that illusions have a neurological cause, but they haven’t managed to pinpoint exactly ........ Read more »
Blanke Olaf, Masayuki Hara, Lukas Heydrich, Andrea Serino, Akio Yamamoto, Toshiro Higuchi, Roy Salomon, Margitta Seeck, Theodor Landis, & Shahar Arzy. (2014) Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction of an Apparition. Current Biology, 24(22), 2681-2686. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.049
A quote to begin: "We confirmed our hypothesis that boys who undergo ritual circumcision may run a greater risk of developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder].""Objetos dispersos" de Xulio Formoso 2008That was the rather surprising finding reported by Morten Frisch & Jacob Simonsen  (open-access) following their register-based cohort study based in Denmark. Some of the media following this paper can be seen here.I'll be honest with you and say that my brow furrowed somewhat upon f........ Read more »
Frisch, M., & Simonsen, J. (2015) Ritual circumcision and risk of autism spectrum disorder in 0- to 9-year-old boys: national cohort study in Denmark. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/0141076814565942
Like every year (see my previous post), Emerald rewards authors of exceptional papers covered in its extensive Emerald Management Reviews database with a Citation of Excellence Award (full list). I went through the latest list of the Citations of Excellence Top 50 papers. This time, the list contains at least two papers from related disciplines […]... Read more »
Kim, D., Ferrin, D., & Rao, H. (2008) A Trust-based Consumer Decision-making Model in Electronic Commerce: The Role of Trust, Perceived Risk, and Their Antecedents. Decision Support Systems, 44(2), 544-564. DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2007.07.001
Locke, R., Qin, F., & Brause, A. (2007) Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61(1), 3-31. info:/
In a study entitled "The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizen's Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial," published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Ariel et al. review what is the first scientific report on the topic of whether or not police body-worn cameras work in terms of decreasing the rate of excessive force by police. As the title suggests, it also reviewed the effects of body-worn cameras on the rate of complaints ........ Read more »
Ariel, B., Farrar, W., & Sutherland, A. (2014) The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. DOI: 10.1007/s10940-014-9236-3
Reconstruction of evolutionary trajectories will be a favourite topic on this blog, since it’s a very interesting area that is currently growing rapidly. I already wrote about nice new work showing how heat stability can evolve in thermophiles (heat-loving organisms). Now there’s a new paper looking at how blue color vision arose in the lineage […]... Read more »
Yokoyama, S., Xing, J., Liu, Y., Faggionato, D., Altun, A., & Starmer, W. (2014) Epistatic Adaptive Evolution of Human Color Vision. PLoS Genetics, 10(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004884
In the US and many Western countries, people are urged to manage feelings of anger or suffer its ill effects. We are raised to, for a large part, stifle our emotions and to “not be so angry.” However, new research with participants from the US and Japan suggests that anger may actually be linked with better, not worse, health at least in certain cultures.... Read more »
Kitayama S., J. M. Boylan, Y. Miyamoto, C. S. Levine, H. R. Markus, M. Karasawa, C. L. Coe, N. Kawakami, G. D. Love, & C. D. Ryff. (2015) Expression of Anger and Ill Health in Two Cultures: An Examination of Inflammation and Cardiovascular Risk. Psychological Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797614561268
A compelling article in the Journal of Medical Biography recounts the story of Bayard Holmes and Henry Cotton, two American "surgeon-psychiatrists" who believed that they could cure schizophrenia by removing parts of their patients' intestines (and other organs). Both men tested their theories on their own children - with tragic results. The article is by Jonathan Davidson of Duke University.
Holmes and Cotton had a theory to justify these extreme treatments: autointoxication - the id... Read more »
Davidson J. (2014) Bayard Holmes (1852-1924) and Henry Cotton (1869-1933): Surgeon-psychiatrists and their tragic quest to cure schizophrenia. Journal of medical biography. PMID: 25504547
Across the past decade, the lab where I completed my PhD work and our collaborator have undertaken numerous experiments reflected in over 10 original research publications on how alcohol affects circadian timekeeping. The journey continues. ... Read more »
Prosser RA, & Glass JD. (2014) Assessing ethanol's actions in the suprachiasmatic circadian clock using in vivo and in vitro approaches. Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.). PMID: 25457753
January Moonrise © EEGToday I would like to discuss a couple of papers that I used as premise for my new thriller Immunity, which will be part of the Apocalypse Weird series, created by Nick Cole, Michael Bunker and Tim Grahl. Just like all my other thrillers, Immunity too, finds its roots in some fascinating facts about genetics, virology and of course immunity.The premise of the book has to do with something I discussed a long time ago, in one of my very first posts: human endogenous ret........ Read more »
Dickerson F, Lillehoj E, Stallings C, Wiley M, Origoni A, Vaughan C, Khushalani S, Sabunciyan S, & Yolken R. (2012) Antibodies to retroviruses in recent onset psychosis and multi-episode schizophrenia. Schizophrenia research, 138(2-3), 198-205. PMID: 22542615
Yolken R. (2004) Viruses and schizophrenia: a focus on herpes simplex virus. Herpes : the journal of the IHMF. PMID: 15319094
It was an infamous experiment, one on obedience and reprehensible behavior done in 1961. With memories of Holocaust atrocities and the prosecution of Nazi officials at Nuremberg still fresh, psychologist Stanley Milgram made history. You may not remember the name per say, but chances are you know his work.... Read more »
Hollander, M. (2015) The repertoire of resistance: Non-compliance with directives in Milgram's ‘obedience’ experiments. British Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12099
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