Post List

  • December 10, 2014
  • 10:03 PM
  • 60 views

Effects of a seven week transition to minimalist footwear

by Craig Payne in Running Research Junkie

Effects of a seven week transition to minimalist footwear... Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 66 views

Worms’ “mental GPS” could help improve mental health

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine this, you’ve misplaced your cell phone. You start by scanning where you remember leaving it: on your bureau. You check and double-check the bureau before expanding your search around and below the bureau. Eventually, you switch from this local area to a more global one, widening your search to the rest of your room and beyond.... Read more »

Adam J Calhoun, Sreekanth H Chalasani, Tatyana O Sharpee. (2014) Maximally informative foraging by Caenorhabditis elegans. eLife. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04220#sthash.lVQ5aANV.dpuf

  • December 10, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 79 views

Depressed? Laughing gas might help

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don’t respond to standard therapies. In other words, it might actually live up to it’s name and as they say laughter is the best medicine. The pilot study is believed to be the first research in which patients with depression were given laughing gas.... Read more »

Nagele P, Duma A, Kopec M, Gebara MA, Parsoei A, Walker M, Janski A, Pahagopoulos VN, Cristancho P, Miller JP, Zorumski CF, Conway C . (2014) Nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant major depression: a proof-of-concept trial. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.11.016  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:46 AM
  • 37 views

Prescription Opiate Abuse: High-Risk Populations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Prescription opiate abuse is a significant problem in the United States.I have previously written about this issue in several previous posts.One important factor for clinicians and patients is the need to identify high-risk populations that may be more vulnerable to opiate abuse and dependence.One obvious group would be those with alcohol or another non-opiate abuse diagnosis. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders are associated with increased risk for substance abuse including opiate abuse.G........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 64 views

Incentives in the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Relapse rates are high in treatment samples of adults with cocaine dependence.Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common standard of care for cocaine dependence.A recent clinical trial from Switzerland examined the use of financial prize incentives to augment standard CBT in the treatment of cocaine dependence.Sixty subjects participated in this trial with the following inclusion criteria: least 18 years of age, had a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence with at least one po........ Read more »

Petitjean SA, Dürsteler-MacFarland KM, Krokar MC, Strasser J, Mueller SE, Degen B, Trombini MV, Vogel M, Walter M, Wiesbeck GA.... (2014) A randomized, controlled trial of combined cognitive-behavioral therapy plus prize-based contingency management for cocaine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 94-100. PMID: 25456571  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 66 views

Video Tip of the Week: “Virtually Immune” computational immune system modeling

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s video tip of the week is the next in a series. It began when I took a look at GeneFriends, and their option to output the data for use in BioLayout Express3D. So of course we had to then take a look at BioLayout. While I was exploring BioLayout, I came across Virtually […]... Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 08:59 AM
  • 61 views

Pacific barreleye: Weird Fish with Transparent Head

by beredim in Strange Animals



Pacific barreleye fish
By Isa2014 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0],
via Wikimedia Commons

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Argentiniformes
Family: Opisthoproctidae
Genus: Macropinna
Species: Macropinna microstoma
Common Name(s): Pacific barreleye




The Pacific barreleye fish is one the weirdest creatures lurking deep in the ocean. Named after its eyes that are ... Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 63 views

The Companion Animal Science Story of the Year?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Dogs love learning. Eureka!Photo: Anna Tyurina / ShutterstockScience Borealis challenged Canadian science bloggers to write about the most important science news of the year in their field. It’s incredibly tough to choose one single study. Every week we cover fascinating research about people’s relationships with their pets, and every one of those studies deserves to be chosen. But there was one paper that really captured our readers’ imagination. It’s one of our most shared storie........ Read more »

McGowan RT, Rehn T, Norling Y, & Keeling LJ. (2014) Positive affect and learning: exploring the "Eureka Effect" in dogs. Animal cognition, 17(3), 577-87. PMID: 24096703  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 69 views

Christmas Trees Have Trouble Seeing The Light

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Evergreens maintain chlorophyll all year round so that they can carryout photosynthesis in the winter and be symbols of enduring life for Christmas. No… not really. Sunlight in the winter can actually kill evergreens. You won’t believe the lengths to which they must go in order to avoid photodamage caused by light harvesting by chlorophyll in the winter. So why do they stay green?... Read more »

Ottander C, Campbell D, Öquist G. (1995) Seasonal changes in photosystem II organization and pigment composition in Pinus sylvestris. . Planta , 176-183. info:/

  • December 10, 2014
  • 07:39 AM
  • 61 views

The genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and evidence for independent domestication

by Alice Breda in genome ecology evolution etc

Oryza glaberrima is an African species of rice that is not of the same origin as the Asian rice (Oryza sativa) and was independently domesticated from the progenitor Oryza barthii about 3,000 years ago.In this study recently published by Nature … Continue reading →... Read more »

Wang, M., Yu, Y., Haberer, G., Marri, P., Fan, C., Goicoechea, J., Zuccolo, A., Song, X., Kudrna, D., Ammiraju, J.... (2014) The genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and evidence for independent domestication. Nature Genetics, 46(9), 982-988. DOI: 10.1038/ng.3044  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 07:20 AM
  • 58 views

At Arm's Length

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Ethnographic research on how older adults use activity to keep their diseases at arm's length.... Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 05:44 AM
  • 75 views

Maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring autism: no measurable association but...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Oh. Yes sir. How doth the little bumblebee improve each..."We found no evidence to support a measurable association between maternal prenatal smoking and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in offspring."That was the conclusion reached in the meta-analysis published by Brittany Rosen and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-review literature examining any correlation between maternal tobacco smoking during pregnancy and risk of offspring receipt of a diagnosis of autism or ASD......... Read more »

Rosen BN, Lee BK, Lee NL, Yang Y, & Burstyn I. (2014) Maternal Smoking and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-analysis. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25432101  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 04:46 AM
  • 59 views

Seeds of change?

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

Plant science is probably one of the least appreciated fields of life sciences, and yet, perhaps no other research area has produced as many technological advances beneficial for society. In an open letterreleased last month, 21 out of the 27 most cited plant scientists in Europe pledged decision makers to back plant research, which they feel is currently threatened by lack of funding and global public and political opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). “In comparison for i........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 03:59 AM
  • 24 views

Reuse, recycle, repurpose …. how evolution makes do

by Humeandroid in The Art of World-Making

One well-known metaphor for the process of biological evolution is ‘tinkering.’ First proposed by François Jacob in 1977 in a now-famous paper in the journal Science, the idea captures two facets of evolution: the fact that new things must be developed from pre-existing things, and the apparent fact that evolution does not proceed with guidance. The […]... Read more »

Childers, W., Xu, Q., Mann, T., Mathews, I., Blair, J., Deacon, A., & Shapiro, L. (2014) Cell Fate Regulation Governed by a Repurposed Bacterial Histidine Kinase. PLoS Biology, 12(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001979  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 54 views

Knee or Hip Strengthening Improves Patellofemoral Pain

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

A randomized clinical trial revealed that 6 week rehabilitation protocols focusing on either hip/core or knee strengthening both improve symptoms associated with patellofemoral pain. ... Read more »

  • December 9, 2014
  • 09:30 PM
  • 59 views

The Bat with the Identity Crisis

by Andrew Harrington in Denise O'Meara

There is a misfortunate bat species that is going through a bit of an identity crisis at the moment. This poor creature is Natterer’s bat, or Myotis nattereri to give it its formal name (named after the distinguished 19th Century Austrian naturalist Johann Natterer, not because it makes a lot of noise, as I have sometimes been asked). Natterer’s bat is distributed across Europe and north-west Africa, and is mainly considered to be a woodland species- in other words, it has specialised in hun........ Read more »

Barratt, E., Deaville, R., Burland, T., Bruford, M., Jones, G., Racey, P., & Wayne, R. (1997) DNA answers the call of pipistrelle bat species. Nature, 387(6629), 138-139. DOI: 10.1038/387138b0  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 53 views

How to Look for Squirrels

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

The Eurasian red squirrel is, in my opinion at least, one of the cutest additions to the Irish countryside. The little ear tufts of the red squirrel help differentiate it from the invasive grey squirrel, the North American competitor of the red squirrel introduced here about 100 years ago. Other features include the size difference, as the grey squirrel is quite a bit larger. You might think that it should be relatively easy to differentiate the species by colour, but colourations can vary consi........ Read more »

Rob Strachan. (2009) Mammal Detective (British Natural History Series) . Whittet Books Ltd. info:/

  • December 9, 2014
  • 05:00 PM
  • 49 views

Irony on the Galapagos Islands

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

The Galapagos have become a model system for speciation research. But recently, several cases of speciation reversal have been documented. Quite ironic!... Read more »

Garrick, R., Benavides, E., Russello, M., Hyseni, C., Edwards, D., Gibbs, J., Tapia, W., Ciofi, C., & Caccone, A. (2014) Lineage fusion in Galápagos giant tortoises. Molecular Ecology, 23(21), 5276-5290. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12919  

Kleindorfer, S., O’Connor, J., Dudaniec, R., Myers, S., Robertson, J., & Sulloway, F. (2014) Species Collapse via Hybridization in Darwin’s Tree Finches. The American Naturalist, 183(3), 325-341. DOI: 10.1086/674899  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 04:34 PM
  • 54 views

Parents with a Strong Bond Hatch Fearless Chicks

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Personality is written not just in the genes, but in the egg yolk. It can even come from the kind of relationship that exists between an animal’s parents. Researchers found new evidence for this when they played matchmaker for several dozen quail. Even though the eggs were taken from their parents before hatching, bird couples in committed relationships had chicks with markedly different behaviors than couples who only dated.

It’s not hard to forge a bond between Japanese quail (Coturn........ Read more »

Le Bot O, Lumineau S, de Margerie E, Pittet F, Trabalon M, & Houdelier C. (2014) Long-life partners or sex friends? Impact of parental pair bond on offspring personality. The Journal of experimental biology, 217(Pt 23), 4184-92. PMID: 25359936  

  • December 9, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 55 views

Winter Gives Me The Shakes

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Your body has several mechanisms to protect you from the cold – and some are just plain weird. You can trap air next to your body just like when your cat hisses and all his fur stands on end. Adults can shiver, but babies can generate heat without shivering. What’s more, adults can learn to act like babies - it will help them stay warm and lose weight!... Read more »

Torkamani, N., Jones, L., Rufaut, N., & Sinclair, R. (2014) Beyond goosebumps: Does the arrector pili muscle have a role in hair loss?. International Journal of Trichology, 6(3), 88. DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.139077  

Jiménez-Aranda, A., Fernández-Vázquez, G., Campos, D., Tassi, M., Velasco-Perez, L., Tan, D., Reiter, R., & Agil, A. (2013) Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. Journal of Pineal Research. DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12089  

Lim, S., Honek, J., Xue, Y., Seki, T., Cao, Z., Andersson, P., Yang, X., Hosaka, K., & Cao, Y. (2012) Cold-induced activation of brown adipose tissue and adipose angiogenesis in mice. Nature Protocols, 7(3), 606-615. DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2012.013  

Bi, S., & Li, L. (2013) Browning of white adipose tissue: role of hypothalamic signaling. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1302(1), 30-34. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12258  

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