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All posts from The Last Seven Days

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  • December 10, 2016
  • 04:28 AM
  • 15 views

"Are we expecting too much from the extreme male brain theory of autism?"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post reflects the commentary published by Andrew Whitehouse [1] (open-access) discussing the meaning of the findings reported by Kung and colleagues [2] who quite categorically stated that there was: "No relationship between prenatal androgen exposure and autistic traits" in their study.OK, androgen exposure and psychology basically refers to the extreme male brain theory and autism which suggests that the so-called over-representation of autism in males is potentiall........ Read more »

  • December 9, 2016
  • 07:18 PM
  • 20 views

The Most Interesting Stellar System Of All?

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution of Washington re-examined the Kepler data and determined that it had also been steadily dimming over the course of those four years, on top of its sporadic dips in brightness. For 1,000 days, the rate of dimming observed was constant; then, for 200 days after, its dimming rate suddenly increased by some order of magnitude; finally, for the remaining 200 days, its brightness had remained largely unchanged.... Read more »

Boyajian, T., LaCourse, D., Rappaport, S., & et al. (2016) Planet Hunters IX. KIC 8462852 – where's the flux?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 457(4), 3988-4004. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw218  

Montet, B., & Simon, J. (2016) KIC 8462852 FADED THROUGHOUT THE MISSION . The Astrophysical Journal, 830(2). DOI: 10.3847/2041-8205/830/2/L39  

  • December 9, 2016
  • 04:53 AM
  • 40 views

'Big data' Taiwan and schizophrenia risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I bring the findings reported by Chou and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) to the blogging table and how the research might of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database (NHIRD) brought it's 'big data' ("n = 23 422 955") to bear on the question: what is the risk of developing schizophrenia where one or more first-degree or other relatives are affected?The answer: "Having an affected co-twin, first-degree relative, second-degree relative, or spouse was associate........ Read more »

  • December 9, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 39 views

Balancing on the BACK

by Abbis Haider Jaffri in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Patients who suffer from current or previous symptoms of lower back pain demonstrated lower reach distances in the posterior directions of the Y-Balance Test compared to healthy individuals.... Read more »

  • December 8, 2016
  • 05:12 PM
  • 43 views

Do We All Have Split Brains?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

When you're doing two things at once - like listening to the radio while driving - your brain organizes itself into two, functionally independent networks, almost as if you temporarily have two brains. That's according to a fascinating new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists Shuntaro Sasai and colleagues. It's called Functional split brain in a driving/listening paradigm



In referring to 'split brains' in their title, Sasai et al. are linking their work to the litera... Read more »

Sasai, S., Boly, M., Mensen, A., & Tononi, G. (2016) Functional split brain in a driving/listening paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201613200. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613200113  

  • December 8, 2016
  • 10:56 AM
  • 44 views

The Reconstruction of Ships: Sailing the Seas of International Collaboration

by Filipe Castro in United Academics

Working for both public and private institutions, archaeologists constantly construct and deconstruct narratives about our past, but traditionally publish only a fraction of the sites they excavate and thus destroy. Computers and the internet present a vast range of opportunities for archaeologists to share primary data and foster intercultural online collaborations and reinterpretations of archaeological contexts. ... Read more »

Bass, G. (1961) The Cape Gelidonya Wreck: Preliminary Report. American Journal of Archaeology, 65(3), 267. DOI: 10.2307/501687  

  • December 8, 2016
  • 09:14 AM
  • 44 views

What are Hierarchical Orthologous Groups (HOGs)?

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame


One central concept in the OMA project and other
work we do to infer relationships between genes is that of Hierarchical
Orthologous Groups, or “HOGs” for the initiated.

We’ve written several papers on aspects pertaining to HOGs—how to infer
them,
how to evaluate them, they being
increasingly adopted by orthology
resources, etc.—but there is
still a great deal of confusion as to what HOGs are and why they matter.

Natasha Glover, talented postdoc in the lab,........ Read more »

Sonnhammer, E., Gabaldon, T., Sousa da Silva, A., Martin, M., Robinson-Rechavi, M., Boeckmann, B., Thomas, P., Dessimoz, C., & , . (2014) Big data and other challenges in the quest for orthologs. Bioinformatics, 30(21), 2993-2998. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu492  

  • December 8, 2016
  • 05:59 AM
  • 44 views

Know your brain: Septum

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the septum?























The term septum, when used in reference to the brain (it is a common anatomical term used to refer to a partition), indicates a subcortical structure in the forebrain that is found near the midline of the brain. The septum in humans can be separated into two structures: the septum pellucidum and septum verum. Each of these is sometimes........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2016
  • 04:51 AM
  • 47 views

Prescription medication use and autism: good medicines management required

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Prescription drug use and polypharmacy rates among adults with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] are substantially higher than those in an age-, sex-, and race-matched cohort of adults without ASD."That sentence taken from the paper by Rini Vohra and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) is probably not likely to win any 'novel findings of the year' awards given the already quite voluminous data published on the medication use and autism (see here for example). What gives the ........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2016
  • 05:36 PM
  • 68 views

Love on the Move: How Tinder is changing the way we date

by Livia Gerber in Language on the Move

A 2015 article in the New York Post argued that mobile dating apps, such as Tinder and its many clones,...... Read more »

  • December 7, 2016
  • 01:21 PM
  • 56 views

The Hunt for the Higgs Bison Is Over

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

A recently-published study has now resolved the mystery of the bison bones, with the help of some Ice Age cave artists. It turns out that there once existed, during the Ice Age, a hybrid between the now-extinct aurochs (the beast from which we domesticated the cow) and the equally-extinct steppe bison (basically, the Asian version of the American bison).... Read more »

  • December 7, 2016
  • 12:36 PM
  • 57 views

Pregnancy folic acid and offspring autism systematically reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"A total of 22 original papers that examined the association between folic acid supplementation in human pregnancy and neurodevelopment/autism were identified after the screening, with 15 studies showing a beneficial effect of folic acid supplementation on neurodevelopment/autism, 6 studies showed no statistically significant difference, while one study showed a harmful effect in > 5 mg folic acid supplementation/day during pregnancy."That rather long quote taken from the paper published by Y........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2016
  • 10:30 AM
  • 76 views

Losing a Pet Can Lead to Different Types of Grief

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research looks at the factors that influence how we feel after euthanizing a pet.The loss of a pet is a difficult process. People’s feelings of grief may be the same as for losing a human family member. New research investigates some of the factors that may affect people’s grief and sorrow after euthanizing a dog or cat.The study, by Sandra Barnard-Nguyen (University of Sydney) et al, is one of the first to use a survey designed specifically to measure people’s responses to loss o........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2016
  • 08:00 AM
  • 44 views

MicroRNA expression is regulated by DNA methylation: a complex cascade of gene regulation events

by Barbara Banelli in EpiBeat

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs, roughly 22 nucleotides in size that are central and negative regulators of gene expression. They exert their functions through base-pairing with the 3’UTR of mRNAs and block expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, depending on the perfect or imperfect match in sequences between miRNAs and their target genes. miRNAs are central nodes in a variety of biological processes like cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and dif........ Read more »

Parodi F, Carosio R, Ragusa M, Di Pietro C, Maugeri M, Barbagallo D, Sallustio F, Allemanni G, Pistillo MP, Casciano I.... (2016) Epigenetic dysregulation in neuroblastoma: A tale of miRNAs and DNA methylation. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1859(12), 1502-1514. PMID: 27751904  

  • December 7, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 69 views

Thinking about high-dose vitamin D supplements for your athletes? Make sure the dose is right.

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

A Blanket high dose vitamin D supplement plan results in elevated levels of vitamin D metabolites after the supplementation is completed. This could result in lower than normal levels of vitamin D, which is the opposite effect of the intended supplementation.... Read more »

Owens DJ, Tang JC, Bradley WJ, Sparks SA, Fraser WD, Morton JP, & Close GL. (2016) Efficacy of High Dose Vitamin D Supplements for Elite Athletes. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 27741217  

  • December 6, 2016
  • 02:29 PM
  • 54 views

Fun With Non-Ionizing Radiation

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Does non-ionizing radiation pose a health risk? Everyone knows that ionizing radiation, like gamma rays, can cause cancer by damaging DNA. But the scientific consensus is that there is no such risk from non-ionizing radiation such as radiowaves or Wi-Fi.

Yet according to a remarkable new paper from Magda Havas, the risk is real: it's called When theory and observation collide: Can non-ionizing radiation cause cancer?



There are a few remarkable things about this paper but chief among th... Read more »

  • December 6, 2016
  • 12:20 PM
  • 81 views

Finding the Best Personalized Cancer Therapy

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

It would be great if, before starting a therapy, it was possible to test small doses of several drugs, at the same time, in a patient and compare their effects on the tumor, so to identify the one that works best.
The study of Yaari and colleagues from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, published in Nature Communication, opens a way to this achievement.... Read more »

Yaari, Z., da Silva, D., Zinger, A., Goldman, E., Kajal, A., Tshuva, R., Barak, E., Dahan, N., Hershkovitz, D., Goldfeder, M.... (2016) Theranostic barcoded nanoparticles for personalized cancer medicine. Nature Communications, 13325. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13325  

  • December 6, 2016
  • 12:07 PM
  • 70 views

Online Insomnia Therapy Effective in Clinical Trial

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Insomnia of sufficient severity to meet clinical significance is estimated to affect up to 20% of the general population.This makes insomnia an important public health challenge.Effective, inexpensive and accessible programs to treat insomnia are needed.One recent controlled clinical trial supports the promise of an online intervention that incorporates key elements of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).Lee Ritterband and colleagues at the University of Virginia recently published a controlled c........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2016
  • 08:46 AM
  • 81 views

Are American Professors More Responsive to Requests Made by White Male Students?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

The vast majority of professors will gladly meet a prospective graduate student and discuss research opportunities as well as long-term career options, especially if the student requesting the meeting clarifies the goal of the meeting. However, there are cases when students wait in vain for a response. Is it because their email never reached the professor because it got lost in the internet ether or a spam folder? Was the professor simply too busy to respond? A research study headed by Katherine........ Read more »

  • December 6, 2016
  • 07:08 AM
  • 71 views

Source regions of the type II radio burst observed during a CME–CME interaction on 2013 May 22 by P. Mäkelä et al.*

by CESRA in Solar Radio Science

Occasionally the Sun ejects a pair of magnetized plasma clouds, called coronal mass ejections (CMEs), roughly into the same propagation direction in closely timed sequence. If the second CME is faster than the first one, the CMEs could either just slip through each other or they could collide and interact, [...]... Read more »

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