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  • December 10, 2015
  • 08:36 PM

LSD changes consciousness by reorganizing human brain networks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

LSD is known to cause changes in consciousness, including “ego-dissolution”, or a loss of the sense of self. Despite a detailed knowledge of the action of LSD at specific serotonin receptors, it has not been understood how this these pharmacological effects can translate into such a profound effect on consciousness.... Read more »

Lebedev, A., Lövdén, M., Rosenthal, G., Feilding, A., Nutt, D., & Carhart-Harris, R. (2015) Finding the self by losing the self: Neural correlates of ego-dissolution under psilocybin. Human Brain Mapping, 36(8), 3137-3153. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22833  

  • December 10, 2015
  • 03:22 PM

Eyes on Environment: where fuel goes, water cannot follow

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Water and energy policy have long been separate despite the deep link between energy production and freshwater consumption. Here we discuss a new study examining this link with policy implications about how to prevent resource scarcity.... Read more »

Holland RA, Scott KA, Flörke M, Brown G, Ewers RM, Farmer E, Kapos V, Muggeridge A, Scharlemann JP, Taylor G.... (2015) Global impacts of energy demand on the freshwater resources of nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(48). PMID: 26627262  

  • December 9, 2015
  • 03:38 PM

Computing with time travel

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why send a message back in time, but lock it so that no one can ever read the contents? Because it may be the key to solving currently intractable problems. It turns out that an unopened message can be exceedingly useful. This is true if the experimenter entangles the message with some other system in the laboratory before sending it.... Read more »

Yuan, X., Assad, S., Thompson, J., Haw, J., Vedral, V., Ralph, T., Lam, P., Weedbrook, C., & Gu, M. (2015) Replicating the benefits of Deutschian closed timelike curves without breaking causality. npj Quantum Information, 15007. DOI: 10.1038/npjqi.2015.7  

  • December 8, 2015
  • 03:28 PM

Self-consciousness: Beyond the looking-glass and what dogs found there

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

That man’s best friend has a conscience is what every owner would be willing to bet, without even thinking about it for a moment. This means that dogs have self-consciousness. But the problem in science is that ideas and assumptions must be demonstrated. It is not enough for someone to have an inkling of something for it to be considered a scientific fact. Self-awareness, or self-consciousness, has been studied mainly by examining the responses of animals and children to their reflection in the mirror.... Read more »

  • December 8, 2015
  • 01:50 PM

Why is progress so slow in resuscitation research?

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

Why is progress so slow in resuscitation research? A lot of money and time went in to finding out which type of blood-letting ventilation works best – ignoring the absence of valid evidence that ventilation is better than no ventilation. Why not gamble with our patients?

In response to The Fatal Flaw in Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR,[1],[2] Kenny commented that –

there are many things in your blog that are not correct.[1]... Read more »

Nichol, G., Leroux, B., Wang, H., Callaway, C., Sopko, G., Weisfeldt, M., Stiell, I., Morrison, L., Aufderheide, T., Cheskes, S.... (2015) Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1509139  

  • December 8, 2015
  • 12:46 PM

The Dire State of Science in the Muslim World

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Universities and the scientific infrastructures in Muslim-majority countries need to undergo radical reforms if they want to avoid falling by the wayside in a world characterized by major scientific and technological innovations. This is the conclusion reached by Nidhal Guessoum and Athar Osama in their recent commentary "Institutions: Revive universities of the Muslim world", published in the scientific journal Nature. The physics and astronomy professor Guessoum (American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates) and Osama, who is the founder of the Muslim World Science Initiative, use the commentary to summarize the key findings of the report "Science at Universities of the Muslim World" (PDF), which was released in October 2015 by a task force of policymakers, academic vice-chancellors, deans, professors and science communicators. This report is one of the most comprehensive analyses of the state of scientific education and research in the 57 countries with a Muslim-majority population, which are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).... Read more »

  • December 8, 2015
  • 11:05 AM

Annotating the scholarly literature online

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The Internet irreversibly changed the scholarly literature, the way it is published, assessed, disseminated, read, shared and cited. The peer review process has been evolving as a result of innovations facilitated by the Web. Among them, the post-publication review and open comments on online texts constitute a strong trend. is an open source initiative that allows sharing openly – or privately – comments from researchers on scientific publications, contributing to their improvement. … Read More →... Read more »

Perkel, J. (2015) Annotating the scholarly web. Nature, 528(7580), 153-154. DOI: 10.1038/528153a  

  • December 7, 2015
  • 07:30 PM

Seeing viruses in a new light

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Want to make a virus? It’s easy: combine one molecule of genomic nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, and a handful of proteins, shake, and in a fraction of a second you’ll have a fully-formed virus. While that may sound like the worst infomercial ever, in many cases making a virus really is that simple. Viruses such as influenza spread so effectively, and as a result can be so deadly to their hosts, because of their ability to spontaneously self-assemble in large numbers.... Read more »

  • December 6, 2015
  • 03:51 PM

Certain herpes viruses can infect human neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For years, researchers have noted a tantalizing link between some neurologic conditions and certain species of the herpes virus. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebellar ataxia, among other neuropathies, the cerebrospinal fluid teems with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Yet, the nature of that link has remained unclear, as it has been assumed that EBV, as well as other viruses in the same sub-family, called gammaherpesviruses, cannot infect neurons.... Read more »

Jha, H., Mehta, D., Lu, J., El-Naccache, D., Shukla, S., Kovacsics, C., Kolson, D., & Robertson, E. (2015) Gammaherpesvirus Infection of Human Neuronal Cells. mBio, 6(6). DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01844-15  

  • December 5, 2015
  • 04:28 PM

No two faces are the same

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For the very first time, researchers have been able to show that the causes of congenital face blindness can be traced back to an early stage in the perceptual process. These findings are crucial, not just for our understanding of face recognition, but also because they allow us to understand the processes behind the recognition of any visually presented object.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2015
  • 10:20 PM

How is a developing brain assembled?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As far as biologists have come in understanding the brain, much remains to be revealed. One significant challenge is determining the formation of complex neuronal structures made up of billions of cells in the human brain. As with many biological challenges, researchers are first examining this question in simpler organisms, such as worms.... Read more »

Christensen RP, Bokinsky A, Santella A, Wu Y, Marquina-Solis J, Guo M, Kovacevic I, Kumar A, Winter PW, Tashakkori N.... (2015) Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. eLife. PMID: 26633880  

  • December 3, 2015
  • 02:11 PM

Exposure to violence makes you more likely to lie, cheat

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Can watching a violent movie make you more likely to lie, cheat or steal? What about reading a violent book? While that may seem like a stretch, a new research study shows it may be the case. The study finds that exposure to human violence is strongly linked to an increase in cheating for monetary gain. In other words, violence may be making us less ethical.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2015
  • 08:18 PM

Our pale blue dot in the wake of destruction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

This is our home, that pale blue dot, dwarfed by an arrow that takes up less space on your screen than this sentence. For all our might and “overwhelming” intelligence, if we flexed our mental might and developed a weapon to destroy this pale blue dot, it would almost certainly go unnoticed in the universe.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2015
  • 07:47 PM

The Many Stories of Climate Change

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

World leaders meet in Paris this week to agree to legally binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In honor of this historic conference, I take a look at a few stories around the world about how climate change already influences our global civilization.... Read more »

  • December 1, 2015
  • 04:03 PM

Antidepressant medication protects against compounds linked to dementia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In addition to treating depression, a commonly used antidepressant medication also protects against compounds that can cause memory loss and dementia, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found. The study found that blood levels of two neurotoxic compounds dropped significantly in depressed patients after they were treated with the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro).... Read more »

Halaris, A., Myint, A., Savant, V., Meresh, E., Lim, E., Guillemin, G., Hoppensteadt, D., Fareed, J., & Sinacore, J. (2015) Does escitalopram reduce neurotoxicity in major depression?. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 118-126. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.04.026  

  • November 30, 2015
  • 06:58 PM

Novel insights into genetic cause of autoimmune diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A collaboration between researchers at the Babraham Institute and the University of Manchester has mapped the physical connections occurring in the genome to shed light on the parts of the genome involved in autoimmune diseases. Using a new technique, called Capture Hi-C, the team revealed novel insights into how changes in the genetic sequence have a biological effect and increase the risk of disease.... Read more »

Martin, P., McGovern, A., Orozco, G., Duffus, K., Yarwood, A., Schoenfelder, S., Cooper, N., Barton, A., Wallace, C., Fraser, P.... (2015) Capture Hi-C reveals novel candidate genes and complex long-range interactions with related autoimmune risk loci. Nature Communications, 10069. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10069  

  • November 29, 2015
  • 03:06 PM

Mental health risk for new dads

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women. Mental health researcher Dr Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women.... Read more »

  • November 29, 2015
  • 01:41 PM

It is possible to develop successful HIV vaccine

by B V Waghmare in HIV virus and antiretroviral drugs and antiAIDS vaccine research and developmets

Antibodies developed in HIV infected individuals do not protect them against further proliferation of HIV, but protect proliferation of HIV in animals.
That means it is possible to develop a vaccine which will completely protect human from HIV infection.... Read more »

B V Waghmare. (2015) HIV Vaccine heading toward success. Combination of HIV neutralizing antibodies and Nanoparticle protien eOD-GT8 60mer are good hope for getting a effective anti HIV vaccine. info:/

  • November 28, 2015
  • 03:20 PM

The silence of the genes, an epigenetic tale

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by Dr. Keiji Tanimoto from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has brought us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In this intriguing event, one copy of a gene is ‘turned off’, or silenced, depending on whether it was derived from the mother or the father.... Read more »

Matsuzaki H, Okamura E, Takahashi T, Ushiki A, Nakamura T, Nakano T, Hata K, Fukamizu A, & Tanimoto K. (2015) De novo DNA methylation through the 5'-segment of the H19 ICR maintains its imprint during early embryogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England), 142(22), 3833-44. PMID: 26417043  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:05 PM

Synapse discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers led by UNSW Australia scientists has discovered how connections between brain cells are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – work that opens up a new avenue for research on possible treatments for the degenerative brain condition.... Read more »

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