I'm treading quite carefully with this post which came about following my [non-expert] reading of the paper abstract from Anand Venkatraman and colleagues  on a potential downside to the use of HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitors for treating spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), a progressive disease affecting movement and other knock-on functions. This follows other work suggesting that certain HDAC inhibitors might offer some important new lines of investigation when it co........ Read more »
Venkatraman A, Hu YS, Didonna A, Cvetanovic M, Krbanjevic A, Bilesimo P, & Opal P. (2014) The histone deacetylase HDAC3 is essential for Purkinje cell function, potentially complicating the use of HDAC inhibitors in SCA1. Human molecular genetics. PMID: 24594842
Optimizing such tailored checklists, understanding why some studies indicate benefits of checklists whereas others do not and re-evaluating the efficacy of checklists in the non-academic setting will all require a substantial amount of future research before one can draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of checklists. Regulatory agencies in Canada and the United Kingdom should reconsider their current mandates. Perhaps an even more important lesson to be learned is that health regulator........ Read more »
Urbach DR, Govindarajan A, Saskin R, Wilton AS, & Baxter NN. (2014) Introduction of surgical safety checklists in Ontario, Canada. The New England Journal of Medicine, 370(11), 1029-38. PMID: 24620866
A new study measuring methane emissions over well pads has shown that fracking sites even in preparatory phases release orders of magnitude more methane then previously estimated.... Read more »
Caulton, D., Shepson, P., Santoro, R., Sparks, J., Howarth, R., Ingraffea, A., Cambaliza, M., Sweeney, C., Karion, A., Davis, K.... (2014) Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1316546111
Airborne wind turbines hovering high in the air and tethered to the ground, like kites, have the potential to generate huge amounts of electricity, based on a recent wind availability study led by the University of Delaware.... Read more »
Archer, C., Delle Monache, L., & Rife, D. (2014) Airborne wind energy: Optimal locations and variability. Renewable Energy, 180-186. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.10.044
Identifying risk factors for brain disorders is a key element in clinical research.Understanding protective or resilience factors for brain disorders is also important and receiving increased attention in clinical research.Factors that promote resilience to brain disorders may come from a variety of domains. Religious belief is one domain receiving attention as a potential resilience factor.Miller and colleagues recently published a longitudinal study of religious belief and risk for major ........ Read more »
Miller L, Wickramaratne P, Gameroff MJ, Sage M, Tenke CE, & Weissman MM. (2012) Religiosity and major depression in adults at high risk: a ten-year prospective study. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(1), 89-94. PMID: 21865527
New DNA study reveals lion history and could guide conservation efforts.... Read more »
Barnett R, Yamaguchi N, Shapiro B, Ho SY, Barnes I, Sabin R, Werdelin L, Cuisin J, & Larson G. (2014) Revealing the maternal demographic history of Panthera leo using ancient DNA and a spatially explicit genealogical analysis. BMC evolutionary biology, 14(1), 70. PMID: 24690312
by Emma in Science of Eating Disorders
If a person severely restricts his diet and exercises for hours each day, he has an eating disorder. If another does exactly the same but it is because she wants to make the lightweight rowing team (which has an upper weight limit), she’s a committed athlete. When the two overlap, and an athlete presents with eating disorder symptoms, how do we distinguish between the demands of the sport and the illness?
I’ve been interested in the distinctions we make between disordered and n........ Read more »
Werner, A., Thiel, A., Schneider, S., Mayer, J., Giel, K., & Zipfel, S. (2013) Weight-control behaviour and weight-concerns in young elite athletes – a systematic review. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1(1), 18. DOI: 10.1186/2050-2974-1-18
Martinsen, M., Bratland-Sanda, S., Eriksson, A., & Sundgot-Borgen, J. (2009) Dieting to win or to be thin? A study of dieting and disordered eating among adolescent elite athletes and non-athlete controls. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(1), 70-76. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2009.068668
Rouveix M, Bouget M, Pannafieux C, Champely S, & Filaire E. (2007) Eating attitudes, body esteem, perfectionism and anxiety of judo athletes and nonathletes. International journal of sports medicine, 28(4), 340-5. PMID: 17024652
Ferrand C, Magnan C, & Philippe RA. (2005) Body-esteem, body mass index, and risk for disordered eating among adolescents in synchronized swimming. Perceptual and motor skills, 101(3), 877-84. PMID: 16491692
In a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have identified and solved at least one paradox in the behavior of high-temperature superconductors. The riddle involves a phenomenon called the “pseudogap,” a region of energy levels in which relatively few electrons are allowed to exist.... Read more »
Mishra, V., Chatterjee, U., Campuzano, J., & Norman, M. (2014) Effect of the pseudogap on the transition temperature in the cuprates and implications for its origin. Nature Physics. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2926
You’ve probably had someone tell you, at some point in your life, that the sense of smell is the sense most tightly linked to memory. Now, scientists have found that at least for mosquitoes, the sense of smell is also linked to the ability of their sperm to swim. The research was published in February in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Female mosquitoes use their sense of smell to find people (so they can suck their blood) and suitable sites to lay their eg........ Read more »
Pitts RJ, Liu C, Zhou X, Malpartida JC, & Zwiebel LJ. (2014) Odorant receptor-mediated sperm activation in disease vector mosquitoes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(7), 2566-71. PMID: 24550284
David Newman, a physicist at the University of Alaska, believes that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout that cut power to 50 million people in the United States and Canada for up to two days.... Read more »
In American politics the proliferation of birth control is important because of how it affects the eternal resting place of our immortal souls. But believe it or not, there are also non-metaphysical policy consequences to increasing access to birth control. A new study by a pair of economists — Stephanie Browne of J.P. Morgan and […]... Read more »
I will travel to Spitsbergen in six weeks to board the German research icebreaker Polarstern. She will sail west across the Fram Strait towards northern Greenland where some of the last remaining glaciers exist that still discharge their ice via … Continue reading →... Read more »
Hughes, N., Wilkinson, J., & Wadhams, P. (2011) Multi-satellite sensor analysis of fast-ice development in the Norske Øer Ice Barrier, northeast Greenland. Annals of Glaciology, 52(57), 151-160. DOI: 10.3189/172756411795931633
The hypothesis that wait-lists could be nocebo conditions was investigated by Furukawa et al (2014). The authors performed a network meta-analysis of 49 RCT that involved cognitive-behaviour therapy for depression. ... Read more »
Furukawa TA, Noma H, Caldwell DM, Honyashiki M, Shinohara K, Imai H, Chen P, Hunot V, & Churchill R. (2014) Waiting list may be a nocebo condition in psychotherapy trials: a contribution from network meta-analysis. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 24697518
A new model for solar farms that “co-locates” biofuel crops and solar panels could result in a harvest of valuable plants along with solar energy.... Read more »
Ravi, S., Lobell, D., & Field, C. (2014) Tradeoffs and Synergies between Biofuel Production and Large Solar Infrastructure in Deserts. Environmental Science , 48(5), 3021-3030. DOI: 10.1021/es404950n
The development of humanistic psychology began in the late 1950s and was ‘born‘ in the early 1960s. Given the time that humanistic psychology grew, there’s no doubt that it informed the civil rights movement. However, some say that humanistic psychology peaked in the 1970s. An … Continue reading →... Read more »
As tempting as it is to hope that one meditation practice could be a panacea within the mind – meditate, and become more mindful! improve your attention! cure your depression! notice when those around you need help! – I have to admit that I know the brain doesn’t work this way. The skills you practice are the skills you strengthen, and compassion in particular is a skill that requires more than just a general awareness of your environment.... Read more »
Weng HY, Fox AS, Shackman AJ, Stodola DE, Caldwell JZ, Olson MC, Rogers GM, & Davidson RJ. (2013) Compassion training alters altruism and neural responses to suffering. Psychological science, 24(7), 1171-1180. PMID: 23696200
Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was […]
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust........ Read more »
Capestany BH, & Harris LT. (2014) Disgust and biological descriptions bias logical reasoning during legal decision-making. Social Neuroscience, 9(3), 265-277. PMID: 24571553
Each year, the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB) awards the Beddington Medal to the best PhD thesis in developmental biology. This year’s award went to William Razzell, who completed his PhD in Paul Martin’s lab at the University of Bristol. At the BSDB Spring Meeting last month, Will presented his thesis studies of wound […]... Read more »
Razzell, W., Wood, W., & Martin, P. (2014) Recapitulation of morphogenetic cell shape changes enables wound re-epithelialisation. Development. DOI: 10.1242/dev.107045
The paper by Ben-Or and colleagues  talking about a neurologic profile present in a small participant cohort of children and adolescents diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) caught my eye recently. Their findings reporting that over two-thirds of their paediatric participant group diagnosed with IBD also "exhibited neurologic manifestations" provides some compelling preliminary evidence for further investigation in this area.Outside of reports of headache and dizziness, the pres........ Read more »
Ben-Or O, Zelnik N, Shaoul R, Pacht A, & Lerner A. (2014) The Neurologic Profile of Children and Adolescents With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 24700662
Diagnosing labral tears with femoroacetabular impingement can be slow and expensive, it is important for health care professionals to quickly recognize and manage the symptoms.... Read more »
Kahlenberg, C., Han, B., Patel, R., Deshmane, P., & Terry, M. (2014) Time and Cost of Diagnosis for Symptomatic Femoroacetabular Impingement. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2(3). DOI: 10.1177/2325967114523916
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