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  • April 23, 2014
  • 09:36 AM
  • 0 views

Video Tip of the Week: Atlas of Cancer Signaling Networks

by Mary in OpenHelix

Last week I highlighted a software tool that lets you customize maps of molecular interactions, and navigate around at various resolutions to explore. It’s called NaviCell, and it seems to offer a lot of opportunity for folks to develop helpful maps related to their research. This week I’m going to note that this same team […]... Read more »

Kuperstein Inna, Cohen David PA, Pook Stuart, Viara Eric, Calzone Laurence, Barillot Emmanuel, & Zinovyev Andrei. (2013) NaviCell: a web-based environment for navigation, curation and maintenance of large molecular interaction maps. BMC Systems Biology, 7(1), 100. DOI: 10.1186/1752-0509-7-100  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 08:25 AM
  • 0 views

Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Hot peppers are hot because their capsaicin binds to the TRPV1 heat sensing ion channel. Agonists of TRPV1 can lead to a hypothermia, while antagonists result in a hyperthermia. Normally these would be poor outcomes, but there are particular instances that new researchs are showing to be beneficial. Brown adipose tissue is promoted by TRPV1 agonists, and studies are showing that capsaicin can hinder formation of white adipose tissue. Likewise, agonists of TRPV1 can induce a protective hypothermi........ Read more »

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T, & Saito M. (2013) Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans. The Journal of clinical investigation, 123(8), 3404-8. PMID: 23867622  

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S, & Das UN. (2014) Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30(3), 319-25. PMID: 24296036  

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F, & Chiarugi A. (2012) Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32(6), 978-82. PMID: 22434066  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 2 views

How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We just can’t keep up with all the research on racism. So today, instead of a single article, we’re going to cite 3 of them! They are all disturbing examples that racism is alive, well, and measurable.  Was s/he a good professor? We’ve all sat through disorganized and incoherent lectures at some point in our […]

Related posts:
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
“I guess what he said wasn’t that bad”
Racist roads not taken and prejudice........ Read more »

Reid, L., & Birchard, K. (2010) The People Doth Protest Too Much: Explaining Away Subtle Racism. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(4), 478-490. DOI: 10.1177/0261927X10377993  

Terbeck S, Kahane G, McTavish S, Savulescu J, Cowen PJ, & Hewstone M. (2012) Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias. Psychopharmacology, 222(3), 419-24. PMID: 22371301  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 07:00 AM
  • 3 views

How ginseng works against flu

by Patricia Pedro in United Academics

Not that long ago, I heard about ginseng in my Plants’ Diversity class, but it was not given that much relevance. Soon after that, ginseng teas and supplements and a panoply of ginseng-made products appeared in the market. Then I finally realized I may not have given ginseng the importance it deserves.... Read more »

Lee JS, Hwang HS, Ko EJ, Lee YN, Kwon YM, Kim MC, & Kang SM. (2014) Immunomodulatory activity of red ginseng against influenza A virus infection. Nutrients, 6(2), 517-29. PMID: 24473234  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 06:48 AM
  • 3 views

Why are some syllables preferred?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

 In a recent paper by Berent and others (citation below) they investigate language universals in syllable structure. Their argument goes: there is a preference for certain syllables over others across languages and even in people whose language does not include those syllables; a set of four syllables which do not occur in English shows this […]... Read more »

Berent, I., Pan, H., Zhao, X., Epstein, J., Bennett, M., Deshpande, V., Seethamraju, R., & Stern, E. (2014) Language Universals Engage Broca's Area. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095155  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 04:25 AM
  • 8 views

Phenylalanine and schizophrenia: new directions for intervention?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As regular readers might already have noticed, amino acids are a bit of a obsession of mine on this blog. Out of all of them - and there are quite a few - I'm particularly interested in the aromatic amino acids and the their various connections to health and wellbeing. I've talked at length about some of the proposed connections made between amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine to all manner of conditions but specifically with the autism spectrum in mind (see here).The conv........ Read more »

Olaoluwa Okusaga, Olesja Muravitskaja, Dietmar Fuchs, Ayesha Ashraf, Sarah Hinman, Ina Giegling, Annette M. Hartmann, Bettina Konte, Marion Friedl, Jason Schiffman.... (2014) Elevated Levels of Plasma Phenylalanine in Schizophrenia: A Guanosine Triphosphate Cyclohydrolase-1 Metabolic Pathway Abnormality?. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085945  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:40 PM
  • 12 views

Autism, SSRIs, and Epidemiology 101

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

I can understand the eagerness with which science writers jump on stories that deal with new findings about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). After all, the mystery surrounding the rapid increase in ASD rates over the past 20 years (see right) has made any ASD-related study that may offer some clues inherently interesting. Because people are anxiously awaiting some explanation of this medical enigma, it seems like science writers almost have an obligation to discuss new findings concerning the c........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 09:15 PM
  • 7 views

Removal of crop residue for biofuels increases CO2 emissions

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A computational study has shown that removal of residue from crop fields increases CO2 emissions... Read more »

Liska, A., Yang, H., Milner, M., Goddard, S., Blanco-Canqui, H., Pelton, M., Fang, X., Zhu, H., & Suyker, A. (2014) Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2187  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 06:04 PM
  • 8 views

SARS-CoV v. MERS-CoV: differences and similarities, what do we know?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Coronaviruses are important animal and human pathogens and are the causative agent of 30-40% community acquired upper respiratory tract infections, most of them mild diseases. Besides relatively benign infections, the infection of infants and children has been implicated in some cases to acute asthmatic attacks and the onset of croup (whizzing cough). With the identification of SARS-CoV in 2003 became associated with more severe pulmonary disease particularly in immunocompromised individuals. T........ Read more »

Barlan A, Zhao J, Sarkar MK, Li K, McCray PB Jr, Perlman S, & Gallagher T. (2014) Receptor variation and susceptibility to middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection. Journal of virology, 88(9), 4953-61. PMID: 24554656  

Raj, V., Mou, H., Smits, S., Dekkers, D., Müller, M., Dijkman, R., Muth, D., Demmers, J., Zaki, A., Fouchier, R.... (2013) Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 is a functional receptor for the emerging human coronavirus-EMC. Nature, 495(7440), 251-254. DOI: 10.1038/nature12005  

Chu KH, Tsang WK, Tang CS, Lam MF, Lai FM, To KF, Fung KS, Tang HL, Yan WW, Chan HW.... (2005) Acute renal impairment in coronavirus-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome. Kidney international, 67(2), 698-705. PMID: 15673319  

Roper, R., & Rehm, K. (2009) SARS vaccines: where are we?. Expert Review of Vaccines, 8(7), 887-898. DOI: 10.1586/erv.09.43  

Payne DC, Iblan I, Alqasrawi S, Al Nsour M, Rha B, Tohme RA, Abedi GR, Farag NH, Haddadin A, Al Sanhouri T.... (2014) Stillbirth During Infection With Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. The Journal of infectious diseases. PMID: 24474813  

Drosten, C. (2013) Is MERS another SARS?. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 13(9), 727-728. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70159-2  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 02:56 PM
  • 17 views

Polar Opposites? The Social Construction of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders


Some might argue that bulimia nervosa is more “hidden” than anorexia nervosa — it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from bulimia (though, I would argue, it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from any eating disorder). Even when it is “discovered,” BN is often placed in opposition with AN — as if the two were polar opposites.
Indeed, attempts to define a phenotype (a set of observable traits or characteristics) for AN and BN tend to oppose the ........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 01:42 PM
  • 15 views

Most Efficient Thermoelectric Material Created

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Northwestern University scientists have discovered a material—tin selenide—that is, according to a press release, “the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity.”... Read more »

Zhao, L., Lo, S., Zhang, Y., Sun, H., Tan, G., Uher, C., Wolverton, C., Dravid, V., & Kanatzidis, M. (2014) Ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit in SnSe crystals. Nature, 508(7496), 373-377. DOI: 10.1038/nature13184  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:22 AM
  • 19 views

Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

No matter how rough a winter you think you had, it was nothing compared to what a wood frog survives every year. Some of these little amphibians are still waiting for spring, when they’ll thaw out and turn from frog-shaped blocks of ice back into animals. Recently, scientists took a close look at wood frogs […]The post Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Larson DJ, Middle L, Vu H, Zhang W, Serianni AS, Duman J, & Barnes BM. (2014) Wood frog adaptations to overwintering in Alaska: New limits to freezing tolerance. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 24737762  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:21 AM
  • 26 views

Religious Belief Linked to Brain Cortex Thickness

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I reviewed a longitudinal study of religious belief and major depression.This study by Lisa Miller and colleagues found a reduced risk of depression in subjects who rated religious belief or spirituality as an important factor in their lives.Reduction in depression risk with religiosity/spirituality was largest (90% smaller risk) in those with a family history of depression.This correlation may not be causal and may be explained by some common third factor between religion an........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 04:22 AM
  • 28 views

Are Neuroimaging researchers headed the Sheldon Cooper way?

by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

The ultimate goal of all these projects is to be able to reconstruct the human brain – have a definitive computer model or a database of every neuron and its cell type and the connections between each individual cell. Is this feasible?... Read more »

Oh SW, Harris JA, Ng L, Winslow B, Cain N, Mihalas S, Wang Q, Lau C, Kuan L, Henry AM.... (2014) A mesoscale connectome of the mouse brain. Nature, 508(7495), 207-14. PMID: 24695228  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:27 PM
  • 39 views

Daylight Savings is a Public Health Concern. Who is responsible? The circadian system or sleep homeostat?

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A study published in 2013 did a US examination of the risk for heart attack from falling back or springing forward (Daylight Savings). The results mirror those of a landmark study on the subject. But neither study seems to think that disruption of circadian rhythms is responsible, but rather that one hour of precious sleep lost or gained...... Read more »

Jiddou MR, Pica M, Boura J, Qu L, & Franklin BA. (2013) Incidence of myocardial infarction with shifts to and from daylight savings time. The American journal of cardiology, 111(5), 631-5. PMID: 23228926  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:03 PM
  • 24 views

Pyrolysis Biofuel Production Process Simplified

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Innovations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are bringing researchers one step closer to developing “green” biofuel production systems farmers can use to meet on-farm energy needs, or to produce renewable fuels for commercial markets.... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 03:00 PM
  • 34 views

EASTER CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS: THE POWER OF POLYPHENOLS

by Alex Giffen in Antisense Science

The health benefits of chocolate explained this Easter... Read more »

Katz, D., Doughty, K., & Ali, A. (2011) Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxidants , 15(10), 2779-2811. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697  

Franco R, Oñatibia-Astibia A, & Martínez-Pinilla E. (2013) Health benefits of methylxanthines in cacao and chocolate. Nutrients, 5(10), 4159-73. PMID: 24145871  

Selmi C, Cocchi CA, Lanfredini M, Keen CL, & Gershwin ME. (2008) Chocolate at heart: the anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols. Molecular nutrition , 52(11), 1340-8. PMID: 18991246  

Ellam S, & Williamson G. (2013) Cocoa and human health. Annual review of nutrition, 105-28. PMID: 23642199  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 12:47 PM
  • 30 views

X-Rays Help Understand High-Temperature Superconductivity

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity in a promising copper-oxide material.... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 36 views

Rethinking anger on the road to peace

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

Cognitive reappraisal, a technique for reinterpreting negative emotions in a more balanced or detached way, may have come across as a weak link in the mental modification toolkit last week: it did not succeed in making people more compassionate, and in fact seemed to make it easier for people to push away any guilt about taking a more selfish path. But while cognitive appraisal might not make people more altruistic, that reevaluation of emotion can make people less angry, and therefore more forg........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 07:18 AM
  • 53 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week PLOS ONE published an interesting study on rhythm, groove and syncopation that uses an often criticized methodology: questionnaire and web-based research...... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

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