Post List

  • December 14, 2014
  • 01:28 PM
  • 81 views

Scientists find a drug (currently used) to turn white fat to brown

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It seems like we’ve been on a weight loss campaign here at the labs, but there just has been so much new and interesting research on the subject to report on, this is no exception. Researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which white fat cells from humans (an important distinction) gets reprogrammed to become browner.... Read more »

Anne Loft, Isabel Forss, Majken Storm Siersbæk, Søren Fisker Schmidt, Ann-Sofie Bøgh Larsen, Jesper Grud Skat Madsen, Didier F. Pisani, Ronni Nielsen, Mads Malik Aagaard, Angela Mathison.... (2014) Browning of human adipocytes requires KLF11 and reprogramming of PPARγ superenhancers. Genes . info:/10.1101/gad.250829.114

  • December 14, 2014
  • 12:47 PM
  • 67 views

Sulfur hydride blows away previous critical temperature limits for conventional superconductivity

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Researchers at Max Planck have revived interest in conventional BCS superconductivity after finding a zero resistance phase of H2S at 190 K!... Read more »

A. P. Drozdov, M. I. Eremets, & I. A. Troyan. (2014) Conventional superconductivity at 190 K at high pressures. arXiv. arXiv: 1412.0460v1

  • December 14, 2014
  • 07:57 AM
  • 67 views

Increasing Rigor in Huntington’s Disease Research

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The CHDI Foundation, a charitable organization who fund a lot of research into Huntington's disease, are interested in reforming the scientific process.


The story comes from a paper written by British neuroscientist Marcus Munafo and colleagues (the authors including CHDI staff) published in Nature Biotechnology a couple of months ago: Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance.



Munafo et al. begin by pointing to the history of car manufacturing as an analogy for the scie... Read more »

Munafo M, Noble S, Browne WJ, Brunner D, Button K, Ferreira J, Holmans P, Langbehn D, Lewis G, Lindquist M.... (2014) Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Nature Biotechnology, 32(9), 871-3. PMID: 25203032  

  • December 14, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 68 views

Beware the inflated science related press release!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm not normally minded to post on a Sunday (day of rest and all that) but I did want to bring your attention to the results presented by Petroc Sumner and colleagues [1] (open-access) concluding that: "Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases" when it comes to the media reporting of [some] health-related science news.The idea behind this particular study - which has been summarised pretty well in some of the accompanying media and in an editorial........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2014
  • 01:51 PM
  • 87 views

High fat diet leads to brain inflammation and obesity

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The stomach strikes again, or so it seems. We’ve already covered how your stomach seemingly controls your brain and your blood-brain barrier, but now it seems that what you eat –not too indirectly related to your stomach– might make you fatter, but not in the way you might be thinking thinking. What you are eating may be causing inflammation in the brain.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2014
  • 11:56 AM
  • 66 views

Animal Research Sheds Light on Harmful Mood Disorders in New Mothers

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Social Science

In the days shortly after giving birth, most mothers experience a period of increased calmness and decreased stress responses, but around 20% of mothers experience anxiety. Some women may become depressed, and around one in a thousand can develop psychosis. The latest evidence indicates that these distressing responses to motherhood are still poorly understood, but that animal research could provide valuable clues to their causes.

Writing in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Dr David Slatt........ Read more »

Perani, C., & Slattery, D. (2014) Using animal models to study post-partum psychiatric disorders. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(20), 4539-4555. DOI: 10.1111/bph.12640  

  • December 13, 2014
  • 09:56 AM
  • 70 views

Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes

by Sandra Bosshard in genome ecology evolution etc

Gibbons (Hylobatidae) are small arboreal apes that form a key node in primate evolution. One of the most distinctive phenotype is their high genome plasticity involving large-scale chromosomal rearrangements and karyotype changes. The four gibbon genera (Nomascus, Hylobates, Hoolock, Symphalangus) … Continue reading →... Read more »

Carbone, L., Alan Harris, R., Gnerre, S., Veeramah, K., Lorente-Galdos, B., Huddleston, J., Meyer, T., Herrero, J., Roos, C., Aken, B.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: 10.1038/nature13679  

  • December 13, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 71 views

Social communication disorder (SCD) reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in partic........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 11:20 PM
  • 68 views

Use of Toning or Unstable Shoes to Aid Post Marathon Recovery

by Craig Payne in Running Research Junkie

Use of Toning or Unstable Shoes to Aid Post Marathon Recovery... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:35 PM
  • 83 views

Guns And Controllers: Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behaviour? A Review Of Meta-Analytic Research

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

There is a lot of debate over whether or not violent video games manifest in violent behaviour. Consensus has not entirely been reached, but some suggest that the literature provides solid evidence for the hypothesis in question. In this post I examine meta-analytic reviews of the literature and weigh their significance, coming to the conclusion that violent video games most likely do cause aggressive behaviour and other negative social outcomes.... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 05:30 PM
  • 66 views

Diversity working together: cancer, immune system, and microbiome

by Jill Gallaher in Evolutionary Games Group

After a much needed few weeks of recovery, I’ve found some time to post about our annual IMO workshop held this year on the topic of viruses in cancer. Our group had the challenge of learning about all of the complexities of the human microbiome and its interactions with a cancerous lesion. The human microbiome, […]... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 68 views

The White Elephant in the Room: The Gift of Subversion

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Ah, the holiday work party. Free food, spending time with people you spend your whole day with already, and enough boozy libations to make things a bit more interesting. Here in North America, many workplaces engage in the gift “game” called the White Elephant Gift Exchange. On this topic, I'm basing today’s post on an article that I recently came across by Gretchen Herrmann in The Journal of Popular Culture where she dissects the Machiavellian nature of this little holiday game.The White ........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 04:00 PM
  • 60 views

Breaking Research: A new technique for studying axon death using fruit fly wings

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

The axon is the part of a neuron that carries outgoing information. (cb = cell body) In neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a genetic mutation leads to widespread neuron damage. When a neuron is damaged, its axon—the part of the neuron that carries outgoing signals—is actively broken down and […]... Read more »

Neukomm L. J., M. A. Gonzalez, S. Zuchner, & M. R. Freeman. (2014) Rapid in vivo forward genetic approach for identifying axon death genes in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(27), 9965-9970. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1406230111  

  • December 12, 2014
  • 02:13 PM
  • 70 views

A new type of memory storage on the horizon

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

For those of us old enough to remember the days of the Apple II, you know that storage has exponentially increased. Even just 10 years ago 20+ gigs of data seemed huge, now my cellphone has 64 gigs. Yet we still need more data storage and we are looking for new ways to get it. Now a way to use weak molecular bonding interactions to create well-ordered and stable metal–organic monolayers with optoelectronic properties has been found. The development could form the basis for the scalable fabrica........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 12:37 PM
  • 72 views

Long Sperm Are Winners

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



It's tough to be sperm. Your entire existence centers on one race that you will almost definitely lose. You don't even get to take a warmup lap. Nevertheless, a glance at your competitors waiting at the starting line might give you some hints about who has an advantage. One factor that helps sperm win races is length—and not only for the reasons you might guess.

Long sperm generally have longer tails. This ought to make them faster and more powerful swimmers, which studies have confirmed........ Read more »

Clair Bennison, Nicola Hemmings, Jon Slate, & Tim Birkhead. (2014) Long sperm fertilize more eggs in a bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2014.1897

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:37 AM
  • 75 views

Detecting lies with fMRI

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 2006, a company called No Lie MRI began advertising their ability to detect "deception and other information stored in the brain" using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They were not the first to make this claim. Two years prior, a company called Cephos had been founded on the same principle. Both companies were launched by entrepreneurs who hoped to one day replace the polygraph machine and its recognized shortcomings with a foolproof approach to lie detection.Within several yea........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 74 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Gender and message delivery and framing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Do........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 76 views

Party On! (If You're Middle-Class and Young): Age Differences Explain Social Class Differences in University Friendships

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

In a recent meta-analytic review, I found that working-class students are less integrated at university than their middle-class peers. I offered up nine potential explanations for this working-class exclusion effect. It turns out that one of the simplest explanations in this list is also the most promising. It’s all to do with age.Working-class students tend to be older than middle-class students. Why? Most likely because they don’t tend to go to university immediately after school but i........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 02:58 AM
  • 66 views

Researchers Discover Well-Endowed Bone Eating Worm

by beredim in Strange Animals



Male Osedax priapus
The entire body of males has evolved  as a tool for mating

Osedax is a genus of weird, deep-sea polychaetes worms, commonly known as boneworms, zombie worms, or bone-eating worms.



The story of these creatures began twelve years ago, when researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) first discovered them, using the submarine ROV Tiburon in ... Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 126 views

The Male Idiot Theory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: bilbypdalgyte.deviantart.com Yes, that’s a thing. According to hospital emergency departments and mortality stats, men are far likelier than women to experience accidental and sporting injuries, as well as...... Read more »

Ben Alexander, Daniel Lendrem, Dennis William Lendrem, Andy Gray, & John Dudley Isaacs. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ, 349. info:/Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem Dennis William Lendrem Andy Gray John Dudley Isaacs

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