Post List

  • May 8, 2017
  • 11:54 PM
  • 142 views

Quick Look: The Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

SummaryFor two years beginning in 2013, a large team led by Sanjay Limaye set out to combine and compare the following:Venusian atmospheric data collected by probes in the 1970s and 1980s (used to create the Venus International Reference Atmosphere, or VIRA)Venus Express data on the vertical and horizontal structure of the atmosphereEarth-based observations of the upper atmosphere temperature structure of Venus made since VIRAFigure 1a: Vertical coverage of post-VIRA atmospheric structure experi........ Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 05:45 PM
  • 193 views

Let those who never smelled bad cast the first stone

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

Analysis of our metabolism is crucial to comprehending the responses of our genes and microbes to the stresses of daily life, and to elucidating the causes and consequences of health and disease. And measurement of urinary metabolites - small molecules produced from foods, drinks, drugs, environmental contaminants, bodily waste products and bacterial by-products - is key to the analysis. We applied this approach to an elusive condition that has always evaded diagnosis: s........ Read more »

Bouatra, S., Aziat, F., Mandal, R., Guo, A., Wilson, M., Knox, C., Bjorndahl, T., Krishnamurthy, R., Saleem, F., Liu, P.... (2013) The Human Urine Metabolome. PLoS ONE, 8(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073076  

Irene S. Gabashvili. (2017) Raw Data from Clinical Trial NCT02692495. Mendeley Data. info:/DOI: 10.17632/8bk6h6bmkr.1

  • May 8, 2017
  • 01:25 PM
  • 127 views

Health systems in Brazil and regionalization policies

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

There is currently a crucial moment in the implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), since its performance is questioned on all sides, in general, magnifying a superficial view of its failures and denying many of its successes. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 01:08 PM
  • 151 views

Neuropeptides and Peer Review Failure

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in the prestigious journal PNAS contains a rather glaring blooper.

The paper, from Oxford University researchers Eiluned Pearce et al., is about the relationship between genes and social behaviour. The blooper is right there in the abstract, which states that "three neuropeptides (β-endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine) play particularly important roles" in human sociality. But dopamine is not a neuropeptide.



Neither are serotonin or testosterone, but throughout the paper, Pea... Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 139 views

Athletic Trainers in High Schools Could Help to Bridge the Gap in Racial Disparities in Adolescent Athlete Health Care

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

White athletes had more concussion knowledge compared to African Americans; however, African Americans that had access to an athletic trainer had greater knowledge of concussion sign and symptoms than those without an athletic trainer.... Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 03:04 AM
  • 134 views

Vitamin D genes and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Vitamin D deficiency is a putative environmental risk factor for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)."And..."We provide straightforward genetic evidences for the first time that VDRGs [vitamin D-related genes] with a strong degree of DNM [de novo mutations] burden in ASD and DNMs of VDRGs could be involved in the mechanism underlying in ASD pathogenesis."That was the research bottom line reported on by Jinchen Li and colleagues [1] examining an important part of the whole 'vitami........ Read more »

Li J, Wang L, Yu P, Shi L, Zhang K, Sun ZS, & Xia K. (2017) Vitamin D-related genes are subjected to significant de novo mutation burdens in autism spectrum disorder. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics. PMID: 28407358  

  • May 8, 2017
  • 12:56 AM
  • 120 views

Finding real rewards in a virtual world

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

A new study shows that mice who learn to find goals in virtual reality use their hippocampus the same was as in the real world.... Read more »

  • May 6, 2017
  • 01:04 PM
  • 164 views

Partisan Review: “Surfing Uncertainty”, by Andy Clark.

by Sergio Graziosi in Writing my own user manual - Sergio Graziosi's Blog

Sometimes it happens that reading a book ignites a seemingly unstoppable whirlpool of ideas. The book in question is “Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind” by Andy Clark. Why is this a partisan review? Because Clark himself had…Read more ›... Read more »

  • May 6, 2017
  • 05:03 AM
  • 143 views

Congenital heart disease and autism and ADHD: Taiwan wades in

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The incidence rates of perinatal comorbidities, EDD [early developmental disorders], ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder], and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were higher in the CHD [congenital heart disease] group than in the control group."So said the findings reported by Pei-Chen Tsao and colleagues [1] investigating an issue that has cropped up more than once on this blog in relation to the developmental/behavioural correlates possibly associated with........ Read more »

  • May 5, 2017
  • 02:53 PM
  • 100 views

Is "Allostasis" The Brain's Essential Function?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A paper just published in Nature Human Behaviour makes some big claims about the brain. It's called Evidence for a large-scale brain system supporting allostasis and interoception in humans, but how much is evidence and how much is speculation?



The authors, Ian R. Kleckner and colleagues of Northeastern University, argue that a core function of the brain is allostasis, which they define as the process by which the brain "efficiently maintains energy regulation in the body". Allostasis ent... Read more »

Kleckner, I., Zhang, J., Touroutoglou, A., Chanes, L., Xia, C., Simmons, W., Quigley, K., Dickerson, B., & Feldman Barrett, L. (2017) Evidence for a large-scale brain system supporting allostasis and interoception in humans. Nature Human Behaviour, 69. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-017-0069  

  • May 5, 2017
  • 07:05 AM
  • 57 views

Lies, lies and more lies: An update on deception research 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

All this week, we have focused on research about lying but there are multiple other articles we want to share with you that will not require a full post. Think of this post as an update on deception that will aid you in preparation for court (and life in general). Small, self-serving lies change our […]... Read more »

Garrett N, Lazzaro SC, Ariely D, & Sharot T. (2016) The brain adapts to dishonesty. Nature Neuroscience, 19(12), 1727-1732. PMID: 27775721  

  • May 5, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 73 views

Friday Fellow: Toxo

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If I had to bet on a parasite that you who are reading this probably have in your body, I’d go for today’s fellow, the protist Toxoplasma gondii, sometimes simply called toxo. Found worldwide, the toxo is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Tenter, A., Heckeroth, A., & Weiss, L. (2000) Toxoplasma gondii: from animals to humans. International Journal for Parasitology, 30(12-13), 1217-1258. DOI: 10.1016/S0020-7519(00)00124-7  

  • May 5, 2017
  • 02:55 AM
  • 162 views

Trends in ADHD medication use in the US and Europe: is this a bad thing?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to dwell too much on the findings reported by Christian Bachmann and colleagues [1] observing that in five Western countries - Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) - ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) medication use between 2005/2006-2012 was on the increase. But I do think it is important to mention some of the implications from such figures and some of the positives and negatives associated with such generated........ Read more »

Bachmann CJ, Wijlaars LP, Kalverdijk LJ, Burcu M, Glaeske G, Schuiling-Veninga CC, Hoffmann F, Aagaard L, & Zito JM. (2017) Trends in ADHD medication use in children and adolescents in five western countries, 2005-2012. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 28336088  

  • May 4, 2017
  • 03:15 AM
  • 187 views

Self-reported sexual attraction and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings reported by Tamara May and colleagues [1] are discussed today, looking at self-reported sexual attraction and past sexual relationships among adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with not-autism controls.Asking 14-15 year olds who took part in The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (94 diagnosed with autism and some 3400 controls) some rather personal questions, researchers reported that: "ASD males reported fewer prior boyfriends/gi........ Read more »

  • May 3, 2017
  • 05:30 PM
  • 155 views

Gimme Your Lunch Money!: Feeding Behaviors in Hummingbirds

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil; 9 October 2014 © Almir Cândido de AlmeidaI just put out my hummingbird feeder this season. It didn’t take those little guys long to find it either. Now I’ve got their cute little bodies whizzing about all over the place. They need Yackety Sax to play as their soundtrack. But it got me to thinking about hummingbirds and to looking through recent papers for a good study. I came across one in Zoologia about the feeding behavior of hummingbirds in artificial f........ Read more »

  • May 3, 2017
  • 02:42 PM
  • 132 views

How Can We Measure Human Oxytocin Levels?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Is oxytocin really the love and trust chemical? Or is it just the hype hormone? A new paper suggests that many studies of the relationship between oxytocin and behaviors such as trust have been flawed.





The paper is a meta-analysis just published by Norwegian researchers Mathias Valstad and colleagues. Valstad et al. found that the level of oxytocin in human blood, often used as a proxy measure of brain oxytocin, has no relation to central nervous system oxytocin levels under normal co... Read more »

Valstad M, Alvares GA, Egknud M, Matziorinis AM, Andreassen OA, Westlye LT, & Quintana DS. (2017) The correlation between central and peripheral oxytocin concentrations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. PMID: 28442403  

  • May 3, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 181 views

Artful Paltering: One more way people lie (especially in  negotiations!)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Back in 2010, we posted on an article called Artful Dodging that talked about how politicians in particular, answer the question they prefer to answer rather than the question you asked. We talked about responding to that strategy in voir dire. Now, we have another article from the same group of researchers and this one […]... Read more »

Rogers T, Zeckhauser R, Gino F, Norton MI, & Schweitzer ME. (2017) Artful paltering: The risks and rewards of using truthful statements to mislead others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(3), 456-473. PMID: 27936834  

  • May 3, 2017
  • 02:53 AM
  • 176 views

ADHD and suicide

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"There is a positive association between ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and suicidality in both sexes and in all age groups."So said the results of the systematic review published by Balazs & Kereszteny [1] (open-access available here) who surveyed the recent peer-reviewed literature on the topic between 2011 and 2015. Reporting results based on findings included in 26 papers, authors concluded that suicidality - ideation, behavior, attempts, and suicide ........ Read more »

  • May 2, 2017
  • 10:20 AM
  • 165 views

Openness is the only quality of an academic article that can be objectively measured

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Quality of scientific research articles is a widespread preoccupation in academic circles. The most used proxy is based on citation counts, not of the article itself, but of the averages of articles appearing in the same journal during a given time window. This is known as the Journal Impact Factor, which may be objective within its own definition, but utterly lacks objectivity with regard to scientific quality of individual articles. Only some technical qualities of articles can be assessed at ........ Read more »

  • May 2, 2017
  • 03:00 AM
  • 192 views

Mitochondrial mutations are not common in chronic fatigue syndrome but...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We report the complete mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA] sequence of 93 CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] patients from the UK and RSA, without finding evidence of clinically proven mtDNA mutations."So said the results reported by Elizna Schoeman and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who drew on other research previously covered on this blog (see here) suggesting that "symptoms of mitochondrial diseases and CFS frequently overlap and can easily be mistaken" to look-see whether iss........ Read more »

Schoeman EM, Van Der Westhuizen FH, Erasmus E, van Dyk E, Knowles CV, Al-Ali S, Ng WF, Taylor RW, Newton JL, & Elson JL. (2017) Clinically proven mtDNA mutations are not common in those with chronic fatigue syndrome. BMC medical genetics, 18(1), 29. PMID: 28302057  

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