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  • April 29, 2017
  • 07:55 AM
  • 141 views

New Human Rights for the Age of Neuroscience?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Do we have a human right to the privacy of our brain activity? Is "cognitive liberty" the foundation of all freedom?



An interesting new paper by Swiss researchers Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno explores such questions: Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology

Ienca and Andorno begin by noting that it has long been held that the mind is "a kind of last refuge of personal freedom and self-determination". In other words, no matter what restrictions might... Read more »

  • April 29, 2017
  • 05:18 AM
  • 233 views

When grandmothers smoked during pregnancy...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Please, do not smoke during pregnancyALSPAC - the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - continues to give in research terms as today I want to mention the findings reported by Jean Golding and colleagues [1] (open-access) observing "an association between maternal grandmother smoking in pregnancy and grand daughters having adverse scores in Social Communication and Repetitive Behaviour measures that are independently predictive of diagnosed autism."The study results have garnere........ Read more »

Golding J, Ellis G, Gregory S, Birmingham K, Iles-Caven Y, Rai D, & Pembrey M. (2017) Grand-maternal smoking in pregnancy and grandchild's autistic traits and diagnosed autism. Scientific reports, 46179. PMID: 28448061  

  • April 28, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 180 views

Friday Fellow: Hooker’s Lips

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll We are always fascinated by plants that have some peculiar shape that resemble something else. And certainly one of them is the species I’m introducing today, Psychotria elata, also known as hooker’s lips or hot lips. Found … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 28, 2017
  • 03:04 AM
  • 237 views

Autism, pregnancy maternal immune activation and vitamin D?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today's post is a bit of a mash-up, drawing on two articles quite recently published in the peer-reviewed science domain.The first is by Stephanie Vuillermot and colleagues [1] (open-access) suggesting that "early dietary supplementation with vitamin D may open new avenues for a successful attenuation or even prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders following maternal inflammation during pregnancy." These findings have also received some media attention (see here for example) and continue........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2017
  • 08:49 AM
  • 230 views

Code Orange for the Bengal Tiger!

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

Genetic study highlights challenging conservation of the Bengal Tiger in India.... Read more »

  • April 27, 2017
  • 02:57 AM
  • 255 views

Is screen time a risk factor for ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings reported by Vivien Suchert and colleagues [1] observing that "screen time, but not other non-screen-based sedentary activities should be considered as being a risk factor for ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]" taps into long-running debates on whether our societal obsession with watching, clicking and swiping might not be 'a totally positive thing' when it comes to psychological development, health and wellbeing.Yes, I know this is a complicated area ful........ Read more »

  • April 26, 2017
  • 11:33 PM
  • 65 views

Recently Active Lava Flows on Idunn Mons

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewCombined VIRTIS emissivity and Magellan SAR image of Idunn MonsIn Idunn Mons on Venus: Location and extent of recently active lava flows, Piero D'Incecco and his colleagues looked closer at 1 µm thermal emissivity anomalies on the eastern flank of Idunn Mons, as observed by the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express. Hypothesizing that recent lava flows were responsible, they overlayed the VIRTIS emissivity data with SAR images from the Magellan mission to look for lava flows that may have ........ Read more »

D'Incecco, P., Müller, N., Helbert, J., & D'Amore, M. (2017) Idunn Mons on Venus: Location and extent of recently active lava flows. Planetary and Space Science, 25-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2016.12.002  

  • April 26, 2017
  • 03:02 AM
  • 258 views

Hornig, Lipkin and chronic fatigue syndrome again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Drs Mady Hornig and Ian Lipkin once again provide some fodder for this blog, continuing one of their important research themes on how chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (sometimes also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME) might show some important immune-related issues [1].This research tag-team and the teams of dedicated scientists who surround them are making some real progress with regards to the idea that ME/CFS is a physical condition (not psychosomatic and not 'biopsychosocial') ........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2017
  • 01:46 PM
  • 250 views

Editors of Brazilian journals – a hard life that is getting harder! [Originally published as the editorial in Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências vol. 89 no. 1]

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The financing of journals of Brazil can be improved by extending the validity period of research grants, in order to allow publishers a better plan for articles publication. An editorial written by Alexander Kellner in the first issue of 2017 of Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências examines the challenge faced by editors of journals of Brazil and highlights their hard work in attracting relevant manuscripts, seeking to achieve ever greater levels of excellence and internationalization. R........ Read more »

CORDEIRO, Y., & SCHUCK, P. (2015) Hot Topics in Biomedical Sciences. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1271-1272. DOI: 10.1590/0001-376520158722  

Vasconcelos, S., Sorenson, M., Watanabe, E., Foguel, D., & Palácios, M. (2015) Brazilian Science and Research Integrity: Where are We? What Next?. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1259-1269. DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201520150165  

  • April 25, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 206 views

The Brightness Temperature of the Quiet Solar Chromosphere at 2.6 mm by Kazumasa Iwai et al

by CESRA in Solar Radio Science

The brightness temperature of the Sun constitutes a basic property of the solar atmosphere. The main emission mechanism of the Sun at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths is thermal free–free emission from the chromosphere, which is an atmospheric layer with a temperature ranging between 6000 to 20,000 K. The opacity of thermal free–free emission depends on the temperature and density in the emission region. In addition, the Rayleigh– Jeans law is applicable [...]... Read more »

Iwai, K., Shimojo, M., Asayama, S., Minamidani, T., White, S., Bastian, T., & Saito, M. (2017) The Brightness Temperature of the Quiet Solar Chromosphere at 2.6 mm. Solar Physics, 292(1). DOI: 10.1007/s11207-016-1044-5  

  • April 25, 2017
  • 03:15 AM
  • 288 views

Who'd have thunk it: physical activity inversely associated with BMI and body fat percentage

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In this sample of middle-aged adults, drawn from the general population, physical activity was inversely associated with BMI [body mass index] and body fat percentage. For people with the same BMI, those who were more active had a lower body fat percentage."Those were the conclusions made by Kathryn Bradbury and colleagues [1] (open-access) drawing on data derived from "cross-sectional analysis of participants recruited into UK Biobank in 2006–2010." Said results continue a res........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2017
  • 02:16 AM
  • 245 views

Will technology make language rights obsolete?

by Dave Sayers in Language on the Move

Something has been nagging at me recently. I read a lot of tech news, and it seems automated translation is...... Read more »

  • April 24, 2017
  • 04:22 AM
  • 212 views

Promising mouse model for Ngly1 deficiency

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

A recent study of Ngly1 deficient mice used a secondary knockout to create double knockouts with symptoms similar to human NGLY1 deficiency.... Read more »

  • April 24, 2017
  • 03:05 AM
  • 250 views

Sensory issues in adult ADHD controlling for autistic symptoms...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued to read the paper by Bijlenga and colleagues [1] reporting on "the prevalence of sensory hyper- and hyposensitivity among adults with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder], controlling for autistic symptoms."The authors concluded that among their cohort of over 100 adults diagnosed with ADHD, both sensory hyper- and hyposensitivity symptoms as described by response to the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile-NL (AASP-NL), were over-represented compared w........ Read more »

Bijlenga D, Tjon-Ka-Jie JY, Schuijers F, & Kooij JJ. (2017) Atypical sensory profiles as core features of adult ADHD, irrespective of autistic symptoms. European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, 51-57. PMID: 28371743  

  • April 22, 2017
  • 11:30 PM
  • 282 views

Intrinsic Motivation Is Caused by Achievement

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Education interventions (specifically those dealing with mathematics education) designed to increase achievement may be better uses of time than those designed to increase intrinsic motivation.... Read more »

  • April 22, 2017
  • 06:14 AM
  • 279 views

Autistic adults as critical autism experts (with research caveats)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Findings suggest that autistic adults should be considered autism experts and involved as partners in autism research."That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Kristen Gillespie-Lynch and colleagues [1] (open-access) reporting on the results of an online survey assessing "autism knowledge and stigma among 636 adults with varied relationships to autism, including autistic people and nuclear family members." Among the various groups of people who contributed to the survey, several vie........ Read more »

Gillespie-Lynch, K., Kapp, S., Brooks, P., Pickens, J., & Schwartzman, B. (2017) Whose Expertise Is It? Evidence for Autistic Adults as Critical Autism Experts. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00438  

  • April 21, 2017
  • 12:02 PM
  • 64 views

Spectral Guide for Earth-based Observers to Complement Akatsuki Mission

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewMeant as a guide for Earth-based observers of Venus (professional and amateur), Overview of useful spectral regions for Venus: An update to encourage observations complementary to the Akatsuki mission provides detailed information regarding the wavelengths at which observations should be made to complement the Akatsuki mission at Venus.Two tables (one for day side observing, the other for night side) provide opportunities across a "spectrum" of wavelengths, indicating what products are l........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 129 views

Friday Fellow: Crystalline crestfoot

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Even in the smallest pools or ponds of freshwater lost in a field, the diversity of lifeforms is amazing. Sadly, these environments are one of the most damaged of all ecosystems on earth and we probably … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 21, 2017
  • 06:26 AM
  • 232 views

History of neuroscience: John Hughlings Jackson

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged















In 1860, when John Hughlings Jackson was just beginning his career as a physician, neurology did not yet exist as a medical specialty. In fact, at that time there had been little attention paid to developing a standard approach to treating patients with neurological disease. Such an approach was one of Jackson's greatest contributions to neuroscience. He advocated for examining each patient individually in an attempt to iden........ Read more »

York GK, Steinberg DA. (2007) An Introduction to the Life and Work of John Hughlings Jackson. Med Hist Suppl., 3-34. info:/

  • April 21, 2017
  • 04:32 AM
  • 283 views

Parental exposures and risk of offspring autism: some curious details

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Overall, our results were consistent with no positive association between parental asthmagen exposure and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in the children."So said the findings reported by Alison Singer and colleagues [1] (open-access) continuing a research theme from this group [2] looking at whether "parental workplace exposures to risk factors for asthma (“asthmagens”)" might have relevance to offspring risk for autism.Based on data derived from some of those oh-so-important Scan........ Read more »

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