Post List

  • January 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

“Who are these people who understand this brain science thing?”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If you think neurolaw and neuroscience are everywhere–and don’t find it particularly challenging to talk about brain science, apparently you are living in a very rarified environment. It’s hard to believe but evidently, most people do not think the exploding field of brain science is fascinating! Instead, when they think of brain science they think […]

Related posts:
What do those jurors really know about science and technology?
A new question for the jury: Did my brain implant........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 06:02 AM

British first-time fathers describe their experiences of separation and helplessness

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Ante-natal classes only serve to increase fathers' feelings of separation from their pregnant partners, according to a series of in-depth interviews with ten White British fathers.Anja Wittkowski and her colleagues interviewed the men to help increase our understanding of what it's like for men to become a father for the first time - a neglected area of research. All the participants, aged 27 to 47, were married to their partners, they were middle-class, employed, and the pregnancies were all pl........ Read more »

Kowlessar, O., Fox, J., & Wittkowski, A. (2014) First-time fathers’ experiences of parenting during the first year. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 1-11. DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2014.971404  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 04:27 AM

Systematic reviews and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

There were a few reasons why I wanted to bring the commentary from Sven Bölte [1] on the topic of systematic reviews and autism research to your attention. One particular sentence included in the text stuck out for me: "... systematic reviews do not always tell the whole truth either" reflective of how we perhaps should always be a little cautious in the way we interpret science even when faced with the platinum standard that is the systematic review (with or without meta-analysi........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 12:05 AM

Flag on the Play! Youth Football Players Do Not Know Concussion Signs and Symptoms

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

While 75% of youth football athletes reported that they understood the dangers of concussions over 60% reported that they believe it is okay to continue to play after they sustained a hit to the head that elicited a headache as long as they did not lose consciousness. This suggests that this population needs further concussion education.... Read more »

McAllister-Deitrick, J., Covassin, T., & Gould, D. (2014) Sport-Related Concussion Knowledge Among Youth Football Players. Athletic Training , 6(6), 280-284. DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20141112-03  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 07:55 PM

Killer fat cells help protect against bacterial infections

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

Fat is bad. This is what doctors and nutritionists have preached for years, making fat public enemy number one in the battle against obesity. We now know that not all fat is bad. Unsaturated fats, like those found in fish and nuts, have many potential health benefits while saturated and trans fats should be avoided. […]... Read more »

Zhang, L., Guerrero-Juarez, C., Hata, T., Bapat, S., Ramos, R., Plikus, M., & Gallo, R. (2015) Dermal adipocytes protect against invasive Staphylococcus aureus skin infection. Science, 347(6217), 67-71. DOI: 10.1126/science.1260972  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 02:43 PM

Outsmarting superbugs’ countermoves to antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades — such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections — are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs.... Read more »

Reeve SM, Gainza P, Frey KM, Georgiev I, Donald BR, & Anderson AC. (2014) Protein design algorithms predict viable resistance to an experimental antifolate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25552560  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 07:46 AM

In the right place at the right time: visualizing and understanding mRNA localization

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

The title of this post is also the title of a review paper that I co-authored  with Adina Buxbaum, a recently graduated PhD student from Rob Singer’s lab. The review was published last week in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell biology. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 3, 2015
  • 07:16 PM

The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits

by Esra Durmaz in genome ecology evolution etc

Mexico, hosted many cultures such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Maya and the Aztec, conquered and colonized by the Spanish Empire in 1521. The country harbors a large source of pre-Columbian diversity and their genetic contributions to today’s population. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Moreno-Estrada, A., Gignoux, C., Fernandez-Lopez, J., Zakharia, F., Sikora, M., Contreras, A., Acuna-Alonzo, V., Sandoval, K., Eng, C., Romero-Hidalgo, S.... (2014) The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits. Science, 344(6189), 1280-1285. DOI: 10.1126/science.1251688  

  • January 3, 2015
  • 02:00 PM

Not everyone sees health decline from obesity, but why is that?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The news isn’t shy in reporting the effects of being obese, high blood pressure, and diabetes (just to name a few). However, new research demonstrates that obesity does not always go hand in hand with metabolic changes in the body that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Determining how and why may help reduce or eliminate the health risks in other people dealing with obesity.... Read more »

Fabbrini E, Yoshino J, Yoshino M, Magkos F, Tiemann Luecking C, Samovski D, Fraterrigo G, Okunade AL, Patterson BW, & Klein S. (2015) Metabolically normal obese people are protected from adverse effects following weight gain. The Journal of clinical investigation. PMID: 25555214  

  • January 3, 2015
  • 10:34 AM

Bone Loss Drugs May Help Prevent Endometrial Cancer

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Health Sciences

A new analysis suggests that women who use bisphosphonates—medications commonly used to treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions—have about half the risk of developing endometrial cancer as women who do not use the drugs. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study supports other research that has shown an anti-cancer effect of this type of medication.

Endometrial cancer, which arises in the lining of the uterus, accounts........ Read more »

  • January 3, 2015
  • 10:00 AM

Resistance is (not so) Futile? Exploring Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders

To me, the idea of “treatment resistance” in eating disorders sparks some ill feelings. While many have suggested that treatment resistance is common among those with eating disorders, others have noted how receiving the label of “treatment resistant” can make it more difficult to receive needed support or impact how one is perceived in treatment settings and how one’s behaviours are interpreted (e.g., Gremillion, 2003).... Read more »

Abbate-Daga, G., Amianto, F., Delsedime, N., De-Bacco, C., & Fassino, S. (2013) Resistance to treatment in eating disorders: A critical challenge. BMC Psychiatry, 13(1), 294. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-294  

  • January 3, 2015
  • 05:17 AM

Anti-epileptic meds and pediatric serum vitamin D levels

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

No, I am not becoming obsessed with the sunshine vitamin/hormone despite us being only a few days into 2015 and this being my second post on vitamin D. It's just the way that the research posts fall; although regular readers will probably have noticed I do enjoy reading the various research on all-things vitamin D.There has been an awakening...The research fodder for today's post is the paper by Yun-Jin Lee and colleagues [1] who measured 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels (in serum) for quit........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2015
  • 08:38 PM

The Futility of Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury (but hope for the future)

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem that affects about 1.5 million people per year in the US, with direct and indirect medical costs of over $50 billion. Rapid intervention to reduce the risk of death and disability is crucial. The diagnosis and treatment of TBI is an area of active preclinical and clinical research funded by NIH and other federal agencies. But during the White House BRAIN Conference, a leading neurosurgeon painted a pessimistic picture of current tre........ Read more »

Skolnick, B., Maas, A., Narayan, R., van der Hoop, R., MacAllister, T., Ward, J., Nelson, N., & Stocchetti, N. (2014) A Clinical Trial of Progesterone for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(26), 2467-2476. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411090  

Wright, D., Yeatts, S., Silbergleit, R., Palesch, Y., Hertzberg, V., Frankel, M., Goldstein, F., Caveney, A., Howlett-Smith, H., Bengelink, E.... (2014) Very Early Administration of Progesterone for Acute Traumatic Brain Injury. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(26), 2457-2466. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1404304  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 02:28 PM

HIV vaccines may make things worse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite what conspiracy theorists say, there is no cure for HIV. Not that people aren’t feverously working hard to find one, it is just really hard to do. To illustrate that point researchers have found that vaccines designed to protect against HIV can backfire and lead to increased rates of infection. This unfortunate effect has been seen in more than one vaccine clinical trial.... Read more »

Carnathan DG, Wetzel KS, Yu J, Lee ST, Johnson BA, Paiardini M, Yan J, Morrow MP, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB.... (2014) Activated CD4 CCR5 T cells in the rectum predict increased SIV acquisition in SIVGag/Tat-vaccinated rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25550504  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 10:32 AM

Raindrops Are like Tiny Asteroid Strikes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Rainshowers are a lot more dramatic if you imagine every drop is a tiny asteroid imperiling miniature dinosaurs or sending little astronaut Ben Afflecks into space. It turns out your fantasy wouldn't be that far off, aside from that last part. Researchers have found startling similarities between asteroid craters and the fleeting indentations left by raindrops on sand.

At the University of Minnesota, physicist Xiang Cheng and three undergraduate students scrutinized what happens when a dr... Read more »

Runchen Zhao, Qianyun Zhang, Hendro Tjugito, & Xiang Cheng. (2014) Granular impact cratering by liquid drops: Understanding raindrop imprints through an analogy to asteroid strikes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. arXiv: 1407.7420v2

  • January 2, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

New Year’s Special: Flies in Space (and other news from 2014)

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Fruit fly researchers published thousands of papers in 2014, and several of them were picked up by the media. I even reviewed a couple of these popular stories on this blog. In April, the Seghal lab published a paper showing that sleep loss in young flies led to abnormal brain development and behavioral deficits in […]... Read more »

Taylor Katherine, Michael D. George, Rachel Morgan, Tangi Smallwood, Ann S. Hammonds, Patrick M. Fuller, Perot Saelao, Jeff Alley, Charles A. Fuller, & Deborah A. Kimbrell. (2014) Toll Mediated Infection Response Is Altered by Gravity and Spaceflight in Drosophila. PLoS ONE, 9(1). DOI:  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 06:43 AM

Psychologists explore a new reason why quitting smoking is so difficult

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When a cigarette smoker attempts to quit, not only do they crave their usual nicotine hit, they also experience an unpleasant inability to enjoy other pleasures in life - a state known as "anhedonia".Jessica Cook and her colleagues studied over a thousand smokers enrolled on a quitting programme in the US. The participants (mostly White, 58.3 per cent were female) were placed on a range of nicotine replacement therapies or they were given placebo. The participants also kept an evening diary from........ Read more »

Cook, J., Piper, M., Leventhal, A., Schlam, T., Fiore, M., & Baker, T. (2014) Anhedonia as a Component of the Tobacco Withdrawal Syndrome. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/abn0000016  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 03:19 AM

Vitamin D and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Hello again and a very warm welcome back to Questioning Answers in 2015. The year, according to a popular sequel, we were all supposed to be benefiting from hoverboards and wearing self-drying clothes. It didn't quite work out like that (although there are still 52 weeks left for such dreams to come to fruition).When we got adopted by a bald guy, I thought this would be more like Annie.We start the new blogging year with a few comments on a rather interesting, if disappointing, set of results pu........ Read more »

  • January 1, 2015
  • 01:27 PM

New cancer treatment targets telomeres

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer, right now we don’t have much to fight it besides the standard surgery or chemo, neither of which is a great option. Well now scientists have targeted telomeres with a small molecule called 6-thiodG that takes advantage of the cell’s ‘biological clock’ to kill cancer cells and shrink tumor growth. Ideally this new technique will help eliminate the need for nasty drugs like those used in chemotherapy.... Read more »

  • January 1, 2015
  • 11:56 AM

Why are unfalsifiable beliefs so attractive?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Recently, Dr. John Wentworth, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that regardless of future advances, science will likely never discover whether the supernatural exists. He said,”almost always, our research raises more questions than it answers, therefore the question of God’s existence just isn’t scientifically testable.” If you are religious, how does [Read More...]... Read more »

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