986 posts · 382,681 views
New research from the University of Helsinki suggests that humans begin to distinguish between sounds before they are even born. Eino Partanen and colleagues explored how prenatal experiences influence learning. “We wanted to find out what kind of material foetuses can learn in the womb, what kind of neural representations they form,” he said.... Read more »
Eino Partanen et al. (2013) Learning-induced neural plasticity of speech processing before birth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1302159110
It is one of these weird things we hear about Japan and makes us wonder if it is true. Do Japanese teenagers really lock themselves up in their room for years? Why? Does this only happen in Japan? And is this an official psychological disorder?... Read more »
Teo AR, & Gaw AC. (2010) Hikikomori, a Japanese culture-bound syndrome of social withdrawal?: A proposal for DSM-5. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 198(6), 444-9. PMID: 20531124
Antioxidants are part of our daily diet in fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs, and their intake is the focus of increasing attention. More recently, designer foods have been enriched with antioxidants, and antioxidants are commonly taken as supplements. Here is five misconceptions about the benefits of antioxidants.... Read more »
Body fat is composed of white/beige adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). While WAT is mainly used to store energy, BAT is important for heat production when the body is exposed to cold, and for this reason it’s abundant in infants who are more susceptible to cold than adults.... Read more »
Yoneshiro, T., Aita, S., Matsushita, M., Kayahara, T., Kameya, T, Kaway, Y., Iwanaga, T., and Saito, M. (2013) Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans” . J ClinInvest 123: 3404, DOI: 10.1172/JCI67803. info:/
IQ predicts, to a certain extent, your social and occupational status, your educational and job performance and your health as an adult. But, other than the popular believe, IQ does not only statically predict your life course. IQ is in turn also influenced by that life course.... Read more »
Brant AM, Munakata Y, Boomsma DI, Defries JC, Haworth CM, Keller MC, Martin NG, McGue M, Petrill SA, Plomin R.... (2013) The Nature and Nurture of High IQ: An Extended Sensitive Period for Intellectual Development. Psychological science, 24(8), 1487-95. PMID: 23818653
n response to my recent post about the dynamic life of plants, reader tmso asked about whether plants can sense and respond to smoke. I still haven’t found anything about an immediate response to smoke, but I’ve learned quite a bit about how smoke and fire affect germination. ... Read more »
Flematti GR, Ghisalberti EL, Dixon KW, . (2004) A compound from smoke that promotes seed germination. . Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5686). DOI: 10.3410/f.1020027.228427
Chiwoca, Sheila DS, Dixon, Kingsly W, Flematti, Gavin R, Ghisablerti, Emilio L, Merritt, David J, Nelson, David C, Riseborough, Julie-Anne M, Smith, Steven M, . (2009) Karrikins: A new family of plant growth regulators in smoke. Plant Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2009.06.007
Nelson, David C, Flematti, Gavin R, Ghisalberti, Emilio L, Dixon, Kingsley W, . (2012) Regulation of Seed Germination and Seedling Growth by Chemical Signals from Burning Vegetation. Annual Review of Plant Biology. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-042811-105545
Guo Y, Zheng Z, La Clair JJ, Chory J, & Noel JP. (2013) Smoke-derived karrikin perception by the α/β-hydrolase KAI2 from Arabidopsis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(20), 8284-9. PMID: 23613584
It’s been seen in the wild and presented in zoos around the world, but yet, a mysterious creature has been victim of mistaken identity for over 100 years!... Read more »
Kristofer M. Helgen, C. Miguel Pinto , Roland Kays, Lauren E. Helgen, Mirian T. N. Tsuchiya, Aleta Quinn, Don E. Wilson . (2013) Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito. . Zoo Keys, 1-83. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.324.5827
Online social networks are rapidly changing the way human beings interact. Over a billion people have a Facebook account, and over half of them log in daily. Yet, no research has examined how interacting with Facebook influences subjective well-being over time.... Read more »
Kross E., Verduyn P., Demiralp E., Park J., Lee D.S., Lin N., Shablack H., Jonides J. . (2013) Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. Plos One, 8(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069841
If you want to raise your kids drugsfree, just frequently share family meals with them. That is what Columbia University has been telling American families for years. New research sheds more light on the subject.... Read more »
John P. Hoffmann and, & Elizabeth Warnick. (2013) Do Family Dinners Reduce the Risk for Early Adolescent Substance Use?: A Propensity Score Analysis . Journal of Health and Social Behavior. DOI: 10.1177/0022146513497035
Categorising small organisms, even defining those categories, is difficult... Read more »
Remember Jurassic Park? Remember those stately long-necked dinosaurs (aka sauropods)? Necks graciously curved to reach the top leaves of the giant trees, the flexibility of their necks seems to rival that of modern swans.... Read more »
Cobley, M.J.; Rayfield, E.J. . (2013) Inter-Vertebral Flexibility of the Ostrich Neck: Implications for Estimating Sauropod Neck Flexibility. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072187
The world just celebrated the 116th birthday of Besse Cooper, the currently oldest person in the world. In a few decades 116 probably isn’t that special anymore. What are your chances?... Read more »
What happens to our mood when our body is running low on glucose a.k.a. sugar? Researchers at the University of Kentucky were interested in the link between low glucose levels and aggressive behavior, so they designed a devious study to investigate the sugar-mood association.... Read more »
DeWall C.N., Deckman T., Gailliot M.T. . (2011) Sweetened blood cools hot tempers: physiological self-control and aggression. Agressive Behavior, 37(1). DOI: 10.1002/ab.20366
Passamonti L., Crockett M.J., Apergis-Schoute A.M., Clark L., Rowe J.B., Calder A.J. . (2011) Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on prefrontal-amygdala connectivity while viewing facial signals of aggression. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.07.033
As people age, they are more likely to break bones and suffer from osteoporosis. The elderly who have broken bones also take longer to heal than younger patients. Part of the reason for this is that bones change as we age. Bone marrow contains many cell types, including those that form new bone. As age increases, these cells shift from an osteogenic (bone forming) type and toward an adipogenic (fat forming) type. Bone grafts are used to replace missing bone when the fractures are complex, or fail to heal properly. Bone marrow from the patient is preferred, but because the marrow of elderly patients has become more adipogenic, healing may be slowed.... Read more »
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. (2013) Wnt3a reestablishes osteogenic capacity to bone grafts from aged animals. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013;95:1278-88. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. info:/
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and anorexia bulimia have been on the rise for decades in Western countries and now start popping up in Non-Western countries as well. Psychologist Francisco Martín Murcia argues how our more and more complicated concept of self stands in the way.... Read more »
Francisco Martín Murcia. (2009) Personality disorders and modern culture. Psychology, Society, . info:/
Makino M, Tsuboi K, & Dennerstein L. (2004) Prevalence of eating disorders: a comparison of Western and non-Western countries. MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine, 6(3), 49. PMID: 15520673
Research shows microRNA based strategy to fight against viral pathogens.... Read more »
Langlois, RA, Albrecht, RA, Kimble, B, Sutton, T, Shapiro, JS, Finch, C, Angel, M, Chua, MA, Gonzalez-Reiche, AS, Xu, K.... (2013) MicroRNA-based strategy to mitigate the risk of gain-of-function influenza studies. . Nature Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2666
“I’ve heard stories that some modeling agents encourage girls to do speed and cocaine in order to speed up metabolism and eat less,” Russian model Kira Dikhtyar told Fox News.
It’s an alarming phenomenon that many models and socialites use cocaine to stay thin. And this is not just a lady thing. Nowadays, prevailing beauty standards also influence men in a way some opt to use the same method to lose weight.... Read more »
Ersche, KD, Stochl, J, Woodward, JM, & Fletcher, PC. (2013) The skinny on cocaine. Insights into eating behavior and body weight in cocaine-dependent men. Appetite. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.07.011
Too much internet is bad for your health, media say. It would even cause sleeping disorders and depression. But the actual research report reveals something else.... Read more »
Thomée S, Härenstam A, & Hagberg M. (2012) Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults--a prospective cohort study. BMC psychiatry, 176. PMID: 23088719
Hydrogen is one of the most promising alternative fuels being investigated. Not only because burning it only produces water but because it can act as a sort of chemical storage for more intermittent sources of energy. While there are many ways to chemically produce hydrogen gas, most involve expensive metals like platinum as a catalyst to make the process at all economical. Another approach borrows from biology, and in particular the enzyme hydrogenase. As with many things borrowed from nature it’s extremely good at what it does, the issue is extracting the enzyme from a living organism for use on its own. Fortunately some researchers from Germany (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) have managed to do the next best thing.... Read more »
Esselborn J, Lambertz C, Adamska-Venkatesh A, Simmons T, Berggren G, Noth J, Siebel J, Hemschemeier A, Artero V, Reijerse E.... (2013) Spontaneous activation of [FeFe]-hydrogenases by an inorganic [2Fe] active site mimic. Nature chemical biology. PMID: 23934246
The point of surgical procedures is to save or improve the quality of our lives, but things can and do go wrong because of system or human errors. In too many cases patients are failed because of so called “never events” – serious incidents that should never happen because they’re entirely preventable.
The official list of never events in surgery includes operating on the wrong part of the body, performing the wrong procedure, leaving instruments or swabs inside the body, or having the wrong prosthesis or medical device implanted.
Never events, such as having the wrong testicle removed, can be devastating, while others prove fatal.... Read more »
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