Post List

  • October 27, 2015
  • 04:04 AM

Gut bacteria profiles in children with autism and asymptomatic siblings

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Joshua Son and colleagues [1] (open-access here) made for some interesting reading recently and various findings including: "no significant difference in macronutrient intake between ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and NT [neurotypical] siblings", "no significant difference in ASD severity scores between ASD children with and without FGID [functional gastrointestinal disorders]" and "No significant difference in diversity or overall microbial composition" whe........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 07:30 PM

Researchers create technology to produce lighter, long-lasting batteries from silicon

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Substantially smaller and longer-lasting batteries for everything from portable electronic devices to electric cars could become a reality thanks to an innovative technology developed by University of Waterloo researchers. Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, and a team of graduate students have created a low-cost battery using silicon that boosts the performance and life of lithium-ion batteries.... Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 12:42 PM

Dogtooth violets aren't violets, but resemble fish and teeth

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I've been slowly working my way through Life, a nature documentary TV series produced by the BBC. It's wonderfully shot (lots of fantastic time-lapse sequences) and there's classic Attenborough narration to walk you through a strong sampling of the amazing stuff organisms manage to get up to. The episode on plants has been on my mind lately. It touches on several of the strategies they use to obtain light (e.g. vines growing up a tree to escape its shadow) or essential nutrients (insect-capturin........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 08:06 AM

The surprising truth about which personality traits do and don't correlate with computer programming skills

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

What do Lisbeth Salander, Chloe O'Brien and Elliot Alderson have in common? They are all expert computer programmers or hackers, and (like most fictional portrayals of people with their skills), they're all, well, rather odd and socially awkward. In other words, they all conform to the commonly held stereotype of the IT guy (or girl) – which must be one of the most stereotyped occupations in the world – as good with machines and programming code, but lousy with people and emotions......... Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Is it possible that jurors will be misled by emotional  testimony and gruesome photos? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Reviewing gruesome photographs and listening to emotional testimony about terrible injuries is something we do routinely. When we need to test their impact in our pretrial research, sometimes mock jurors (and occasionally trial jurors as well) are given the option of not looking at the photographs. They are put in an envelope, the envelope is […]

Related posts:
Teary testimony from children is more credible
Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Eyewitness testimon........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 04:30 AM

Athletes with Previous Injury Report Less Physical Capability at Preseason

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

Take Home Message: Athletes that report a previous injury at preseason examination also reported lower physical capabilities related to the knee or upper extremity before the competitive season. Patient-reported joint-specific perceived capability assessments might supplement preseason physical examination and aid in return to play decisions following injury.... Read more »

Sciascia A, Haegele LE, Lucas J, & Uhl TL. (2015) Preseason Perceived Physical Capability and Previous Injury. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(9), 937-43. PMID: 26287492  

  • October 26, 2015
  • 04:09 AM

Transcendental meditation for autism: some case reports

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I can appreciate that some people might have looked at the title of this post and rolled their eyes. When I first came across the paper by David Black & Norman Rosenthal [1] (open-access) I too felt a slight 'woo' like tingling given my unfamiliarity with transcendental meditation (TM) either personally or professionally. A bit of background reading and a reminder of some song lyrics - "sometimes truth is stranger than fiction" - and I decided that this is peer-reviewed science that per........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 04:00 AM

Sticks and stones (1): How names work & why they hurt

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

Boiling a frog In 1781, Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, a civil servant, political writer and historian in what was then Prussia published a two volume work entitled Über die Bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden (“On the Civic Improvement of Jews”). In it, von Dohm laid out the case for emancipation for a people systematically denied the […]... Read more »

Fryer, R., & Levitt, S. (2004) The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(3), 767-805. DOI: 10.1162/0033553041502180  

Nunley, J.M., Pugh, A., Romero, N., & Seals, R.A. (2014) An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field. Auburn Economics Working Paper Series. info:/

Zajonc, R. (1968) Attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9(2), 1-27. DOI: 10.1037/h0025848  

  • October 26, 2015
  • 01:47 AM

On the Long Way Down: The Neurophenomenology of Ketamine

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Is ketamine a destructive club drug that damages the brain and bladder? With psychosis-like effects widely used as a model of schizophrenia? Or is ketamine an exciting new antidepressant, the “most important discovery in half a century”?For years, I've been utterly fascinated by these separate strands of research that rarely (if ever) intersect. Why is that? Because there's no such thing as “one receptor, one behavior.” And because like most scientific endeavors, neuro-pharmacology/psyc........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 01:25 AM

A week in review: Top open-access science stories

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

There's simply not enough time in the week to write about everything that I'd like! So here are 6 extra short summaries of scientific studies published during the past week, available free via open-access journals for anyone and everyone to read and enjoy!... Read more »

Luo J, Ault JS, Shay LK, Hoolihan JP, Prince ED, Brown CA, & Rooker JR. (2015) Ocean Heat Content Reveals Secrets of Fish Migrations. PloS one, 10(10). PMID: 26484541  

  • October 25, 2015
  • 03:27 PM

Decontaminating infant formula with the bacteriophage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When dealing with bacteria, antibiotics are usually the frontrunner, but there are cases where antibiotics are a big no. Take baby formula for instance, we cannot use antibiotics to keep bacteria at bay. This has posed a safety problem in recent years, but researchers have shown that we can use a natural enemy of bacteria to fight back without risk to infants’ health.... Read more »

Lee, J., Bai, J., Shin, H., Kim, Y., Park, B., Heu, S., & Ryu, S. (2015) A Novel Bacteriophage Targeting is a Potential Biocontrol Agent in Foods . Applied and Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01827-15  

  • October 25, 2015
  • 01:28 PM

Gracile & robust Australopithecus

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

Last week, I introduced my Human Evolution students to the “robust” australopithecines. It was a very delicate time, when we had to have a grown up, mature conversation about adult things. I reminded the students that they’re only human, but they must resist urges that seem only natural. No matter how much they want to, even if their friends are doing it, […]... Read more »

Asfaw B, White T, Lovejoy O, Latimer B, Simpson S, & Suwa G. (1999) Australopithecus garhi: a new species of early hominid from Ethiopia. Science (New York, N.Y.), 284(5414), 629-35. PMID: 10213683  

Domínguez-Rodrigo, M., Pickering, T., Baquedano, E., Mabulla, A., Mark, D., Musiba, C., Bunn, H., Uribelarrea, D., Smith, V., Diez-Martin, F.... (2013) First Partial Skeleton of a 1.34-Million-Year-Old Paranthropus boisei from Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. PLoS ONE, 8(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080347  

Haile-Selassie Y, Gibert L, Melillo SM, Ryan TM, Alene M, Deino A, Levin NE, Scott G, & Saylor BZ. (2015) New species from Ethiopia further expands Middle Pliocene hominin diversity. Nature, 521(7553), 483-8. PMID: 26017448  

Walker, A., Leakey, R., Harris, J., & Brown, F. (1986) 2.5-Myr Australopithecus boisei from west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature, 322(6079), 517-522. DOI: 10.1038/322517a0  

  • October 25, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

A Conversation with Carri Westgarth

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Carri Westgarth and Francine Watkins new paper explores the perspectives of victims of dog bites. The results give important new insights into dog bite prevention. Carri kindly agreed to answer questions about her research on dog bites, dog walking, and puppies, and her own companion animals. How did you get interested in studying dog bite prevention?Carri as a child; Top photo: Carri with her dogs Jasmyn andBen, and her friend's dogs Alfie and ZephyrMy mum might say it started as a toddler........ Read more »

  • October 24, 2015
  • 04:12 PM

The science behind real life zombies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the spirit of Halloween we bring you the science fact and fiction behind the undead. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, (and girls) are everywhere. We are all familiar (if you are horror fans, or at least not living on an Amish compound) with the classic zombie. But did you know that we aren’t the only zombie lovers out there? It turns out that nature has its own special types of zombies, but this isn’t a science fiction movie, this is science fact!... Read more »

Lafferty KD. (2006) Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273(1602), 2749-55. PMID: 17015323  

Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC, & Sapolsky RM. (2007) Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(15), 6442-7. PMID: 17404235  

Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P., & Renaud, F. (2002) Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x  

W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski. (2014) Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?. Journal of Zoology , 292(3), 151-155. info:/10.1111/jzo.12094

  • October 24, 2015
  • 11:16 AM

Gene-edited Kidney Organoids Re-Create Human Disease

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Benjamin Freedman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor | University of Washington Department of Medicine | Division of Nephrology Member, Kidney Research Institute Member, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Seattle WA 98109  Medical Research: What is the background … Continue reading →
The post Gene-edited Kidney Organoids Re-Create Human Disease appeared first on
... Read more »

Benjamin Freedman, Ph.D. (2015) Gene-edited Kidney Organoids Re-Create Human Disease. info:/

  • October 24, 2015
  • 09:19 AM

Acute Occupational Pesticide-Related Illness Highest in Agricultural Workers

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Geoffrey M. Calvert MD Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health CDC Cincinnati, Ohio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Calvert: Since 1987, acute occupational pesticide-related … Continue reading →
The post Acute Occupational Pesticide-Related Illness Highest in Agricultural Workers appeared first on
... Read more »

Geoffrey M. Calvert MD. (2015) Acute Occupational Pesticide-Related Illness Highest in Agricultural Workers. info:/

  • October 24, 2015
  • 09:14 AM

Health Factors Put Truck Drivers At Increased Crash Risk

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH Assistant Professor Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health University of Utah School of Medicine  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Thiese: The nearly 3 million truck … Continue reading →
The post Health Factors Put Truck Drivers At Increased Crash Risk appeared first on
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Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH. (2015) Health Factors Put Truck Drivers At Increased Crash Risk. info:/

  • October 24, 2015
  • 09:06 AM

Chronic Inflammatory Biomarker May Predict Mortality

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Dr. Johannes Kettunen Computational Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki NMR Metabolomics Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Finland   Medical Research: What is the background … Continue reading →
The post Chronic Inflammatory Biomarker May Predict Mortality appeared first on
... Read more »

Dr. Johannes Kettunen. (2015) Chronic Inflammatory Biomarker May Predict Mortality. info:/

  • October 24, 2015
  • 08:59 AM

Black Men, White Women Have Highest Cancer Incidence in US

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Dr. Simple Singh MD Epidemiologist Division of Cancer Prevention and Control CDC  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Singh: This report provides official federal statistics on the occurrence of cancer for 2011 and trends … Continue reading →
The post Black Men, White Women Have Highest Cancer Incidence in US appeared first on
... Read more »

Dr. Simple Singh MD. (2015) Black Men, White Women Have Highest Cancer Incidence in US. info:/

  • October 24, 2015
  • 08:51 AM

Study Compares Anticoagulation Risk Scores in Atrial Fibrillation

by Marie Benz in Interview with: H.A. (Hendrika) van den Ham PharmD Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences Utrecht University The Netherlands. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. van … Continue reading →
The post Study Compares Anticoagulation Risk Scores in Atrial Fibrillation appeared first on
... Read more »

H.A. (Hendrika) van den Ham PharmD. (2015) Study Compares Anticoagulation Risk Scores in Atrial Fibrillation. info:/

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