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  • July 4, 2015
  • 02:26 PM
  • 3 views

Long-term memories are maintained by prion-like proteins

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time. And paradoxically, it works in the same way as mechanisms that cause mad cow disease, kuru, and other degenerative brain diseases.... Read more »

Fioriti, L., Myers, C., Huang, Y., Li, X., Stephan, J., Trifilieff, P., Colnaghi, L., Kosmidis, S., Drisaldi, B., Pavlopoulos, E.... (2015) The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3. Neuron, 86(6), 1433-1448. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.021  

Drisaldi, B., Colnaghi, L., Fioriti, L., Rao, N., Myers, C., Snyder, A., Metzger, D., Tarasoff, J., Konstantinov, E., Fraser, P.... (2015) SUMOylation Is an Inhibitory Constraint that Regulates the Prion-like Aggregation and Activity of CPEB3. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1694-1702. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.061  

Stephan, J., Fioriti, L., Lamba, N., Colnaghi, L., Karl, K., Derkatch, I., & Kandel, E. (2015) The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1772-1785. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.060  

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:37 PM
  • 25 views

REM sleep critical for young brain development; medication interferes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study. The finding broadens the understanding of children’s sleep needs and calls into question the increasing use of REM-disrupting medications such as stimulants and antidepressants.

... Read more »

Michelle C. Dumoulin Bridi, Sara J. Aton, Julie Seibt, Leslie Renouard, Tammi Coleman1, & Marcos G. Frank. (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500105

  • July 3, 2015
  • 04:05 PM
  • 18 views

Novel DNA repair mechanism brings new horizons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed. A group of researchers discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.... Read more »

Nikolay A. Pestov, Nadezhda S. Gerasimova, Olga I. Kulaeva, & Vasily M. Studitsky. (2015) Structure of transcribed chromatin is a sensor of DNA damage. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500021

  • July 2, 2015
  • 12:57 PM
  • 38 views

Freezing single atoms to absolute zero with microwaves brings quantum technology closer

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Physicists at the University of Sussex have found a way of using everyday technology found in kitchen microwaves and mobile telephones to bring quantum physics closer to helping solve enormous scientific problems that the most powerful of today’s supercomputers cannot even begin to embark upon.... Read more »

Weidt, S., Randall, J., Webster, S., Standing, E., Rodriguez, A., Webb, A., Lekitsch, B., & Hensinger, W. (2015) Ground-State Cooling of a Trapped Ion Using Long-Wavelength Radiation. Physical Review Letters, 115(1). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.013002  

  • July 2, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 36 views

Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.... Read more »

  • July 1, 2015
  • 02:19 PM
  • 63 views

New epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For decades, researchers in the genetics field have theorized that the protein spools around which DNA is wound, histones, remain constant in the brain, never changing after development in the womb. Now, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered that histones are steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life – a process which helps to switch genes on and off.... Read more »

Maze, I., Wenderski, W., Noh, K., Bagot, R., Tzavaras, N., Purushothaman, I., Elsässer, S., Guo, Y., Ionete, C., Hurd, Y.... (2015) Critical Role of Histone Turnover in Neuronal Transcription and Plasticity. Neuron, 87(1), 77-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.014  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 02:16 PM
  • 43 views

Ethics in research: how to improve the integrity of scientists in their work

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Scientific activity as a social enterprise must maintain its credibility. The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines are presented as a recent and innovative initiative for scientific journals, and as one of the ways to guard this social value. … Read More →... Read more »

Alberts, B., Cicerone, R., Fienberg, S., Kamb, A., McNutt, M., Nerem, R., Schekman, R., Shiffrin, R., Stodden, V., Suresh, S.... (2015) Self-correction in science at work. Science, 348(6242), 1420-1422. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3847  

Nosek, B., Alter, G., Banks, G., Borsboom, D., Bowman, S., Breckler, S., Buck, S., Chambers, C., Chin, G., Christensen, G.... (2015) Promoting an open research culture. Science, 348(6242), 1422-1425. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2374  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 11:14 PM
  • 43 views

Surface matters: using earth-abundant materials to split water for energy storage

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Scientists have developed a new way to grow hematite as an electrode in solar water-splitting devices to greatly improve efficiency!... Read more »

Jang, J., Du, C., Ye, Y., Lin, Y., Yao, X., Thorne, J., Liu, E., McMahon, G., Zhu, J., Javey, A.... (2015) Enabling unassisted solar water splitting by iron oxide and silicon. Nature Communications, 7447. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8447  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 02:56 PM
  • 54 views

Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Previous studies have shown that men find female faces more attractive when the women are ovulating, but the visual clues that allow this are unclear. Now, new research investigating whether it might be to do with subtle changes in skin colour has shown that women’s faces do increase in redness during ovulation, but the levels of change are just under the detectable range of the human eye.... Read more »

Hannah Rowland, & Robert Burriss. (2015) Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it. PLOS ONE. info:/

  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:32 PM
  • 40 views

Omega-3 supplements and antioxidants may help with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Here’s more evidence that fish oil supplementation and antioxidants might be beneficial for at least some people facing Alzheimer’s disease. A new report describes the findings of a very small study in which people with mild clinical impairment, such as those in the very early stages of the disease, saw clearance of the hallmark amyloid-beta protein and reduced inflammation in neurological tissues. Although the findings involved just 12 patients over the course of 4 to 17 months, the finding........ Read more »

Fiala M, Halder RC, Sagong B, Ross O, Sayre J, Porter V, & Bredesen DE. (2015) ω-3 Supplementation increases amyloid-β phagocytosis and resolvin D1 in patients with minor cognitive impairment. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 25805829  

  • June 29, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 64 views

How your brain knows it’s summer

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers led by Toru Takumi at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a key mechanism underlying how animals keep track of the seasons. The study shows how circadian clock machinery in the brain encodes seasonal changes in daylight duration through GABA activity along with changes in the amount of chloride located inside certain neurons.... Read more »

Myung J, Hong S, DeWoskin D, Schutter E, Forger, DB, and Takumi T. (2015) GABA-mediated repulsive coupling between circadian clock neurons in the SCN encodes seasonal time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1421200112

  • June 29, 2015
  • 01:51 PM
  • 66 views

The fear you experience playing video games is real, and you enjoy it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With the advent of video games, a frequently asked question has been whether we get as engrossed in them emotionally as we do when we see a scary movie. The answer is yes and many game players enjoy the fear caused by the zombies, disfigured humans and darkness they often encounter, the researchers found.... Read more »

  • June 28, 2015
  • 12:58 PM
  • 73 views

Rare neurons enable mental flexibility

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Behavioral flexibility — the ability to change strategy when the rules change — is controlled by specific neurons in the brain, Researchers have confirmed. Cholinergic interneurons are rare — they make up just one to two percent of the neurons in the striatum, a key part of the brain involved with higher-level decision-making. Scientists have suspected they play a role in changing strategies, and researchers at OIST recently confirmed this with experiments.... Read more »

Aoki, S., Liu, A., Zucca, A., Zucca, S., & Wickens, J. (2015) Role of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons in Set-Shifting in the Rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(25), 9424-9431. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0490-15.2015  

  • June 27, 2015
  • 02:17 PM
  • 80 views

Natural wilderness areas need buffer zones to protect from human development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite heavy development, the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature. But University of Georgia researchers say these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.... Read more »

Lauren K. Ward, & Gary T. Green. (2015) Wilderness Zoning: Applying an Adapted Biosphere Reserve Model to Wilderness Areas. Illuminare. info:/http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/illuminare/article/view/13341

  • June 26, 2015
  • 05:50 PM
  • 94 views

A single mutation helped last year’s flu virus gain an advantage over the vaccine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The 2014-2015 flu vaccine didn’t work as well compared to previous years because the H3N2 virus recently acquired a mutation that concealed the infection from the immune system. A new study reveals the major viral mutation responsible for the mismatch between the vaccine strain and circulating strains. The research will help guide the selection of viral strains for future seasonal flu vaccines.... Read more »

  • June 26, 2015
  • 12:06 PM
  • 82 views

Study finds pet owners reluctant to face up to their cats’ kill count

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cats are increasingly earning themselves a reputation as wildlife killers with estimates of animals killed every year by domestic cats in the UK numbering into the millions. This new study on the attitudes of cat owners suggests that proposals to keep cats indoors in order to preserve wildlife would not be well received.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 75 views

Synthetic biology used to engineer new route to biochemicals

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Living cells can make a vast range of products for us, but they don’t always do it in the most straightforward or efficient way. Shota Atsumi, a chemistry professor at UC Davis, aims to address that through “synthetic biology:” designing and building new biochemical pathways within living cells, based on existing pathways from other living things.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 12:53 PM
  • 86 views

Commenters exposed to prejudiced comments more likely to display prejudice themselves

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Comment sections on websites continue to be an environment for trolls to spew racist opinions. The impact of these hateful words shouldn’t have an impact on how one views the news or others, but that may not be the case. A recent study found exposure to prejudiced online comments can increase people’s own prejudice, and increase the likelihood that they leave prejudiced comments themselves.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 12:43 PM
  • 73 views

The Long Shadow of Nazi Indoctrination: Persistence of Anti-Semitism in Germany

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Voigtländer and Voth examined the results of the large General Social Survey for Germany (ALLBUS) in which several thousand Germans were asked about their values and beliefs. The survey took place in 1996 and 2006, and the researchers combined the results of both surveys with a total of 5,300 participants from 264 German towns and cities. The researchers were specifically interested in anti-Semitic attitudes and focused on three survey questions specifically related to anti-Semitism. Survey........ Read more »

Voigtländer N, & Voth HJ. (2015) Nazi indoctrination and anti-Semitic beliefs in Germany. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26080394  

  • June 24, 2015
  • 05:51 PM
  • 65 views

The benefit of order: new organic solar cell structure improves charge separation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Organic solar cells suffer from fast electron-hole recombination, limiting efficiency, but scientists have found a cool new structure to prevent such limitations!... Read more »

Huber, R., Ferreira, A., Thompson, R., Kilbride, D., Knutson, N., Devi, L., Toso, D., Challa, J., Zhou, Z., Rubin, Y.... (2015) Long-lived photoinduced polaron formation in conjugated polyelectrolyte-fullerene assemblies. Science, 348(6241), 1340-1343. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6850  

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