Post List

  • February 17, 2017
  • 05:00 AM
  • 193 views

Friday Fellow: Brown-gutted Mud Roundworm

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If you have your face buried in the mud at the bottom of a European lake, you may end up finding some of those tiny little roundworms known as Monhystera stagnalis. As usual, there is no common … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 17, 2017
  • 03:16 AM
  • 259 views

Vitamin D halting colds and flu?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Overall, the study said one person would be spared infection for every 33 taking vitamin D supplements. That is more effective than flu vaccination, which needs to treat 40 to prevent one case, although flu is far more serious than the common cold."That was some of the media interpretation of the paper - "systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data" - published by Adrian Martineau and colleagues [1] looking at the collected data on vitamin D supplementation "on risk ........ Read more »

Adrian R Martineau, David A Jolliffe, Richard L Hooper, Lauren Greenberg, John F Aloia, Peter Bergman, Gal Dubnov-Raz, Susanna Esposito, & et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. info:/10.1136/bmj.i6583

  • February 16, 2017
  • 03:14 AM
  • 299 views

"early medical events are associated with clinical ASD phenotypes"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Charlotte Willfors and colleagues [1] (open-access) provides some food for thought today and the observation that various individual and cumulative medical events - "early medical events likely to be caused by environmental factors" - may be important to at least some autism.Researchers "scrutinized the early medical histories of a rare and informative sample of 13 MZ [monozygotic] twin pairs discordant for clinical ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" also including "13 M........ Read more »

Willfors C, Carlsson T, Anderlid BM, Nordgren A, Kostrzewa E, Berggren S, Ronald A, Kuja-Halkola R, Tammimies K, & Bölte S. (2017) Medical history of discordant twins and environmental etiologies of autism. Translational psychiatry, 7(1). PMID: 28140403  

  • February 15, 2017
  • 12:00 PM
  • 219 views

"Dominance" Training Deprives Dogs of Positive Experiences

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Dominance is an outdated approach to dog training – and it also means dogs miss out on fun.Approaches to dog training based on dominance rely on the idea that you have to be the ‘alpha’ or pack leader. Unfortunately, this type of dog training is not just out-of-date and potentially risky, but modern approaches to dog training are also a lot more fun – for you and the dog.What is dominance in dog training?We sometimes hear the phrase ‘my dog is being dominant.’ ‘Your dog is being do........ Read more »

  • February 15, 2017
  • 08:08 AM
  • 224 views

New Species of Polychaete Worm Discovered in Antarctica

by beredim in Strange Animals



Flabegraviera fujiae (left), the new species described in the
in the new study, and Flabegraviera mundata (right).
(Scale bar: 1cm)

A few days ago, a team of Japanese scientists from the Hokkaido University announced the discovery a new species of polychaete, a type of marine annelid worm.

The discovery took place 9-meters deep underwater near Japan's Syowa Station in Antarctica and provides... Read more »

  • February 15, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 220 views

Tell it to the judge 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Anyone who has been in court more than a few times, has likely heard a judge “rehabilitate” a potential juror who has expressed bias by asking the juror if they will, in judging “this case”, be “fair, impartial and unbiased”. Why yes, your Honor (say almost all of them). Mykol Hamilton and Kate Zephyrhawke, researchers, […]... Read more »

Charles G. Lord, Lee Ross, & Mark R. Lepper. (1979) Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization: The Effects of Prior Theories on Subsequently Considered Evidence. Journal  of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(11), 2098-2109. info:/

Lord CG, Lepper MR, & Preston E. (1984) Considering the opposite: a corrective strategy for social judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47(6), 1231-43. PMID: 6527215  

  • February 15, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 246 views

"Androgens were not associated with autistic traits at 12 months of age"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

EARLI - the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation study - has been mentioned on this blog before (see here) with the aim of the initiative to "examine possible environmental risk factors for autism and study whether there is any interplay between environmental factors and genetic susceptibility."In this post I'm bringing the paper by Bo Park and colleagues [1] (open-access) to your attention and the observation(s) that umbilical cord blood levels of testosterone and other relate........ Read more »

Park, B., Lee, B., Burstyn, I., Tabb, L., Keelan, J., Whitehouse, A., Croen, L., Fallin, M., Hertz-Picciotto, I., Montgomery, O.... (2017) Umbilical cord blood androgen levels and ASD-related phenotypes at 12 and 36 months in an enriched risk cohort study. Molecular Autism, 8(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13229-017-0118-z  

  • February 15, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 196 views

Electrical Stim Treatments Improve Patients with Low Back Pain

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

Various electrical stimulation treatments over the course of 3 weeks resulted in improved low back pain. Interferential stimulation seemed to have the best outcomes in patients with low back disc degeneration. ... Read more »

Rajfur, J., Pasternok, M., Rajfur, K., Walewicz, K., Fras, B., Bolach, B., Dymarek, R., Rosinczuk, J., Halski, T., & Taradaj, J. (2017) Efficacy of Selected Electrical Therapies on Chronic Low Back Pain: A Comparative Clinical Pilot Study. Medical Science Monitor, 85-100. DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899461  

  • February 14, 2017
  • 12:13 PM
  • 304 views

The Complexities of “The Love Hormone”

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

New York street art. Photo inWikimedia Commons posted by Pedroalmovar.Oxytocin, commonly known as “the love hormone”, is a small chemical that is produced in the brain of mammals, but can both act as a neurotransmitter and enter the blood stream and act as a hormone. It has long been heralded for its role in both maternal and romantic love, but more recent research is showing us just how complicated the physiology of love can be.Oxytocin is released in mammalian mothers after birth. It promo........ Read more »

Shamay-Tsoory SG, & Abu-Akel A. (2016) The Social Salience Hypothesis of Oxytocin. Biological psychiatry, 79(3), 194-202. PMID: 26321019  

  • February 14, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 264 views

Large-scale simulations of Langmuir Wave Distributions Induced by Electron Beams by H. Reid and E. Kontar

by CESRA in Solar Radio Science

Langmuir waves that generate type III radio bursts are excited by high-energy electron beams streaming out from the corona through interplanetary space. Despite a smooth temporal distribution of electrons, the Langmuir waves are measured to occur in discrete clumps, commonly attributed to the turbulent nature of the solar wind electron density (e.g. Smith and Sime 1979, Melrose et al 1986). But how do fluctuations in the background plasma shape the [...]... Read more »

  • February 14, 2017
  • 06:15 AM
  • 204 views

Amphioctopus Marginatus: The Octopus That Pretends to Be a Coconut

by beredim in Strange Animals



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae
Genus: Amphioctopus
Species: Amphioctopus  marginatus
Conservation Status: Not yet assessed
Common Name: Coconut octopus, Veined octopus

Meet Amphioctopus marginatus a medium-sized octopus found in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean The species is best known as the "coconut octopus" ... Read more »

Finn JK, Tregenza T, Norman MD. (2009) Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. . Curr. Biol, 19(23). info:/10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.052

  • February 14, 2017
  • 03:27 AM
  • 253 views

Relative age and ADHD medication

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Youngest children in class 'more likely to be given ADHD drugs'" went the NHS Choices headline that led me to the short report produced by Martin Whitely and colleagues [1] (open-access).ADHD - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - is something of interest to this blog; not least the idea that relative age (age relative to peers in the same school year group) might be an important variable when it comes to at least some diagnoses of the condition (see here).The Whitely paper draws on ........ Read more »

Martin Whitely, Leanne Lester, John Phillimore, & Suzanne Robinson. (2017) Influence of birth month on the probability of Western Australian children being treated for ADHD. The Medical Journal of Australia. info:/

  • February 13, 2017
  • 08:09 AM
  • 231 views

What is the possible effect of clown interaction on vital signs and nonverbal communication of hospitalized children?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Researchers at the Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí [Jundiaí School of Medicine], in the city of Jundiaí (State of São Paulo, Brazil) and Universidade Guarulhos [Guarulhos University], in the city of Guarulhos (State of São Paulo, Brazil), published a study that shows the positive and beneficial effects of the interaction of hospitalized children with clowns using as indicators nonverbal communication and vital signs of these children. … Read More →... Read more »

Alcântara, P., Wogel, A., Rossi, M., Neves, I., Sabates, A., & Puggina, A. (2016) Effect of interaction with clowns on vital signs and non-verbal communication of hospitalized children. Revista Paulista de Pediatria (English Edition), 34(4), 432-438. DOI: 10.1016/j.rppede.2016.02.011  

  • February 13, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 214 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “bad is black” effect 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It is hard to believe that more than two decades have passed since the controversial Time magazine cover featuring OJ Simpson with his skin intentionally darkened was distributed. It was published in 1994 and people were so upset that the magazine’s managing editor issued a public apology for publishing the cover photo. Today, we are […]... Read more »

Alter, A., Stern, C., Granot, Y., & Balcetis, E. (2016) The “Bad Is Black” Effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42(12), 1653-1665. DOI: 10.1177/0146167216669123  

  • February 13, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 207 views

Blood Test Could Help Provide Information on Prolonged Concussion Recovery

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

Elevated plasma tau concentrations within 6 hours of sport-related concussion was associated with prolonged return to play.... Read more »

Gill, J., Merchant-Borna, K., Jeromin, A., Livingston, W., & Bazarian, J. (2017) Acute plasma tau relates to prolonged return to play after concussion. Neurology, 88(6), 595-602. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003587  

  • February 13, 2017
  • 04:28 AM
  • 264 views

Depression, SMILES and Modified Mediterranean diet (advice)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

SMILES in the title of this post refers to the SMILES trial - Supporting the Modification of lifestyle In Lowered Emotional States - and results recently published by Felice Jacka and colleagues [1] (open-access) pertinent to the idea that "dietary improvement" might be something to consider when a diagnosis of major depressive episode (MDE) is received.Having previously published their study protocol [2], researchers set about looking at whether under "single blind, randomised controlled" ........ Read more »

Jacka, F., O’Neil, A., Opie, R., Itsiopoulos, C., Cotton, S., Mohebbi, M., Castle, D., Dash, S., Mihalopoulos, C., Chatterton, M.... (2017) A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial). BMC Medicine, 15(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12916-017-0791-y  

  • February 12, 2017
  • 11:10 AM
  • 262 views

More than Meets the Eye

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

Eyeglasses are almost as old as the civilization itself. They have not changed much since Benjamin Franklin's bifocals in the 18th century. Nor were they made obsolete by laser surgery and contacts. Still, eyeglass technology leaves much to be desired. But new technologies are unfolding before our eyes. ... Read more »

Gudlavalleti VS, Allagh KP, & Gudlavalleti AS. (2014) Self-adjustable glasses in the developing world. Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.), 405-13. PMID: 24570581  

Hasan N, Banerjee A, Kim H, & Mastrangelo CH. (2017) Tunable-focus lens for adaptive eyeglasses. Optics express, 25(2), 1221-1233. PMID: 28158006  

  • February 11, 2017
  • 04:43 AM
  • 251 views

Pregnancy exposure to SSRIs and offspring autism risk: debate continues

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"It remains unclear whether the association between first trimester SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor] exposure and child autism that was present in the case-control studies even after adjustment for MMI [maternal mental illness] is a true association or a product of residual confounding."So said the results of the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Hilary Brown and colleagues [1] looking at a potentially important association between pregnancy use of a class ........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2017
  • 12:15 PM
  • 216 views

Scientific reliability and the role of theory

by Multiple Authors in EPPI-Centre blog

The replication crisis, publication bias, p-hacking, harking, bad incentives, undesirable pressures and probably other factors all contribute to diminish the trustworthiness of published research, with obvious implications for research synthesis. Sergio Graziosi asks whether demanding simple theoretical clarity might be part of the solution.
... Read more »

Kerr NL. (1998) HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 2(3), 196-217. PMID: 15647155  

Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323  

Munafò, M., Nosek, B., Bishop, D., Button, K., Chambers, C., Percie du Sert, N., Simonsohn, U., Wagenmakers, E., Ware, J., & Ioannidis, J. (2017) A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 21. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0021  

  • February 10, 2017
  • 07:19 AM
  • 201 views

BHD in patients undergoing chest CT and characteristics of BHD in Korea.

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

To date, there have been no prospective studies attempting to diagnose BHD syndrome or literature reviews on BHD in Korea. Park et al. (2017) address this in their new study that aims to detect BHD prospectively in patients undergoing chest computed tomography (CT) scans and to classify the characteristics of BHD in Korea.... Read more »

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