Meta-analyses eh? You spend ages waiting for one and two come along in quick succession. Well today I'm posting about yet another meta-analysis of the peer-reviewed scientific literature suggesting that "excessive maternal BMI [body mass index] is associated with an increased ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk in offspring." The review by Ying Wang et al follows hot on the heels of the meta-analysis by Li and colleagues  (see here for my take) but further looked a........ Read more »
Wang, Y., Tang, S., Xu, S., Weng, S., & Liu, Z. (2016) Maternal Body Mass Index and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring: A Meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 34248. DOI: 10.1038/srep34248
Social interactions are highly sought-after and rewarding in many animals... Even when social interactions involve only one of our senses, they are still rewarding. For example, we like looking at photos of our friends on Facebook, or hearing the voice of a faraway relative via telephone. It’s the same with other animals; not only is socialization rewarding and can be used as an incentive for learning, but just the sights, sounds, and even smells of others are also rewarding. Hernandez et ........ Read more »
Hernandez AM, Perez EC, Mulard H, Mathevon N, & Vignal C. (2016) Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983), 130(1), 36-43. PMID: 26881942
Although it has already been known for some time that the brain does not remain rigid in its structure even in adulthood, scientists have recently made a surprising discovery. The brain is not only able to adapt to changing conditions in long-term processes, but it can do this every month.
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Barth, C., Steele, C., Mueller, K., Rekkas, V., Arélin, K., Pampel, A., Burmann, I., Kratzsch, J., Villringer, A., & Sacher, J. (2016) In-vivo Dynamics of the Human Hippocampus across the Menstrual Cycle. Scientific Reports, 32833. DOI: 10.1038/srep32833
In the previous two posts I’ve gone through the depressing exercise of exploring the misconstrued world-view that led the UK to leave the EU. The picture that emerges is not limited to the UK, but is a paradigm example of…Read more ›... Read more »
Nickerson, R. (1998) Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology, 2(2), 175-220. DOI: 10.1037//1089-26220.127.116.11
Lord, C., Ross, L., & Lepper, M. (1979) Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(11), 2098-2109. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3518.104.22.1688
Corner, A., Whitmarsh, L., & Xenias, D. (2012) Uncertainty, scepticism and attitudes towards climate change: biased assimilation and attitude polarisation. Climatic Change, 114(3-4), 463-478. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0424-6
Tauopathies are a group of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease that are characterized by the deposition of aggregates of the tau protein inside brain cells. A new study reveals that the cutting of tau by an enzyme called caspase-2 may play a critical role in the disordered brain circuit function that occurs in these diseases.
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Zhao, X., Kotilinek, L., Smith, B., Hlynialuk, C., Zahs, K., Ramsden, M., Cleary, J., & Ashe, K. (2016) Caspase-2 cleavage of tau reversibly impairs memory. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4199
Where is the suprachiasmatic nucleus?
the suprachiasmatic nucleus is represented by a small green area within the hypothalamus (indicated by red arrow).
The suprachiasmatic nuclei are two small, paired nuclei that are found in the hypothalamus. Each suprachiasmatic nucleus only contains approximately 10,000 neurons. The nuclei rest on each side of the third ventricle, just above the optic chiasm. The location provides the rationale for........ Read more »
Colwell, C. (2011) Linking neural activity and molecular oscillations in the SCN. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(10), 553-569. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3086
Impact loads in barefoot and shoe running... Read more »
Sinclair, J. (2016) The effects of barefoot and barefoot inspired footwear on tibiofemoral kinetics during running. Human Movement. DOI: 10.1515/humo-2016-0022
I'm not gonna dwell too much on the findings reported by Lee and colleagues  talking about how "toddlers who suffer from AD [atopic dermatitis] at the age younger than 3 years are at a higher risk of developing ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] during later childhood" because science already seems to understand that there may be an important connection between early allergic disease and later offspring behavioural/........ Read more »
Lee CY, Chen MH, Jeng MJ, Hsu JW, Tsai SJ, Bai YM, Hung GY, Yen HJ, Chen TJ, & Su TP. (2016) Longitudinal association between early atopic dermatitis and subsequent attention-deficit or autistic disorder: A population-based case-control study. Medicine, 95(39). PMID: 27684861
High cholesterol might harm more than our cardiovascular systems. New research using animal models suggests that high cholesterol levels trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells, causing them to die, and ultimately leading to the development of osteoarthritis.
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Farnaghi, S., Prasadam, I., Cai, G., Friis, T., Du, Z., Crawford, R., Mao, X., & Xiao, Y. (2016) Protective effects of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and statins on cholesterol-induced osteoarthritis. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201600600R
Bibliometric indicators represent much more than an indication of the visibility, relevance and impact of an article. A researcher’s entire career profile can be summarized in one or more numerical productivity and impact indicators of his research. However, citation metrics vary considerably according to the area of knowledge, the publication age, the type of document and the coverage of the database where citations were accrued. Is it possible to normalize them? Here we discuss the challenge........ Read more »
Ioannidis, J., Boyack, K., & Wouters, P. (2016) Citation Metrics: A Primer on How (Not) to Normalize. PLOS Biology, 14(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002542
BLOWFIELD, M., & FRYNAS, J. (2005) Editorial Setting new agendas: critical perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in the developing world. International Affairs, 81(3), 499-513. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2005.00465.x
Hutchins, B., Yuan, X., Anderson, J., & Santangelo, G. (2016) Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A New Metric That Uses Citation Rates to Measure Influence at the Article Level. PLOS Biology, 14(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002541
Neuroscience medicine clinicians encounter patients every day who have both a mental and substance use disorder.This co-occurrence, or comorbidity, complicates diagnosis, treatment and outcome.The exact mechanism for this comorbidity issue is unclear.A recent study out of Washington University in St. Louis and King's College London provides some insight into this comorbidity issue.They examined participants in the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment (SAGE). These subjects provided genet........ Read more »
Carey CE, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Hartz SM, Lynskey MT, Nelson EC, Bierut LJ, & Bogdan R. (2016) Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement. Frontiers in genetics, 149. PMID: 27574527
by Piter Kehoma Boll I wonder how many people can say they have a bacterium that reminds them of their childhood. Well, at least I can say that I have. When I was a boy and started to know about … Continue reading →... Read more »
Lipman, C. (1941) The Successful Revival of Nostoc commune from a Herbarium Specimen Eighty- Seven Years Old. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 68(9), 664. DOI: 10.2307/2481755
Tamaru, Y., Takani, Y., Yoshida, T., & Sakamoto, T. (2005) Crucial Role of Extracellular Polysaccharides in Desiccation and Freezing Tolerance in the Terrestrial Cyanobacterium Nostoc commune. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(11), 7327-7333. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.71.11.7327-7333.2005
Forgetting Earth Dementia. Few words inspire greater fear in those of us who value (quasi-?) independent thought. The term ‘dementia’ encompasses various brain disorders that all share some scary traits: general decline in cognitive function, decreased ability to speak, and in later stages, being unable to take care of oneself. Unfortunately, as human lifespan increases […]... Read more »
Killin LO, Starr JM, Shiue IJ, & Russ TC. (2016) Environmental risk factors for dementia: a systematic review. BMC geriatrics, 16(1), 175. PMID: 27729011
Parihar VK, Allen BD, Caressi C, Kwok S, Chu E, Tran KK, Chmielewski NN, Giedzinski E, Acharya MM, Britten RA.... (2016) Cosmic radiation exposure and persistent cognitive dysfunction. Scientific reports, 34774. PMID: 27721383
'Thick and fast' is probably the best way that I can describe the flurry of peer-reviewed scientific papers recently appearing (see here and see here for examples) talking about how chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (also linked to the diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME) might have some important biological processes attached to it.Now we can add the findings reported by Federica Ciregia and colleagues  (open-access) to the list and their observations that "the identification of bio........ Read more »
Ciregia F, Kollipara L, Giusti L, Zahedi RP, Giacomelli C, Mazzoni MR, Giannaccini G, Scarpellini P, Urbani A, Sickmann A.... (2016) Bottom-up proteomics suggests an association between differential expression of mitochondrial proteins and chronic fatigue syndrome. Translational psychiatry, 6(9). PMID: 27676445
Researchers from the Studies and Research Group in Health Services Administration and Nursing Management from The Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) have developed studies to improve the practice of sustainable actions from an environmental point of view in hospitals. A recent doctoral thesis study carried out by researcher of the UNIFESP and member of the group, analyzed the sustainable actions taken by the nursing staff of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) during the medication process an........ Read more »
Patricia de Oliveira Furukawa,, Isabel Cristina Kowal Olm Cunha,, Mavilde da Luz Gonçalves Pedreira,, & Patricia Beryl Marck. (2016) Sustentabilidade ambiental nos processos de medicação realizados na assistência de enfermagem hospitalar. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, 29(3), 316-324. DOI: http://dx.org/10.1590/1982-0194201600044
"Social priming" has been the punching-bag of psychology for the past few years.
The term "social priming" refers to the idea that subtle cues can exert large, unconscious influences on human behaviour. The classic example of a social priming effect was the "professor priming" study in which volunteers who completed a task in which they had to describe a typical professor, subsequently performed better on a general knowledge task. In other words, as the authors put it, "priming a stereotype o... Read more »
Today I'm once again blogging about peer-reviewed research suggesting that when it comes to the long-term effects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on a person, there is some pretty solid evidence that addressing symptoms early could "potentially avert a wide range of future adverse outcomes."The paper making such a conclusion is the one from Holly Erskine and colleagues  who conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis pertinent to this topic; also taking into accoun........ Read more »
Erskine HE, Norman RE, Ferrari AJ, Chan GC, Copeland WE, Whiteford HA, & Scott JG. (2016) Long-Term Outcomes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Conduct Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(10), 841-50. PMID: 27663939
Vitamins A and C aren't just good for your health, they affect your DNA too. Researchers have discovered how vitamins A and C act to modify the epigenetic 'memory' held by cells; insight which is significant for regenerative medicine and our ability to reprogramme cells from one identity to another.
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Hore, T., von Meyenn, F., Ravichandran, M., Bachman, M., Ficz, G., Oxley, D., Santos, F., Balasubramanian, S., Jurkowski, T., & Reik, W. (2016) Retinol and ascorbate drive erasure of epigenetic memory and enhance reprogramming to naïve pluripotency by complementary mechanisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201608679. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1608679113
A new study finds that training shelter cats leads to more contentment and better health.The study, by Nadine Gourkow and Clive Phillips (University of Queensland), tested the effects of training sessions on cats that were frustrated when they arrived at an animal shelter. The cats in the training group became more content and were healthier compared to the cats who just experienced normal shelter conditions.Prof. Clive Phillips says,“Confining a cat into a small cage after it has been roaming........ Read more »
Gourkow, N., & Phillips, C. (2016) Effect of cognitive enrichment on behavior, mucosal immunity and upper respiratory disease of shelter cats rated as frustrated on arrival. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 103-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.07.012
Individuals with chronic ankle instability have higher pre-activation of peroneus longus and gluteus maximus compared with controls. A functional fatigue protocol affected both groups similarly.... Read more »
Webster, K., Pietrosimone, B., & Gribble, P. (2016) Muscle Activation During Landing Before and After Fatigue in Individuals With or Without Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of Athletic Training. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.10.01
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