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  • January 10, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 277 views

Experiment showcasing humanity’s ‘dark side’ may offer a way to control it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It was an infamous experiment, one on obedience and reprehensible behavior done in 1961. With memories of Holocaust atrocities and the prosecution of Nazi officials at Nuremberg still fresh, psychologist Stanley Milgram made history. You may not remember the name per say, but chances are you know his work.... Read more »

  • January 10, 2015
  • 10:31 AM
  • 372 views

Neuromyths and the disconnect between science and the public

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

When the movie Lucy was released in the summer of 2014, it was quickly followed by a flurry of attention surrounding the idea that we only use 10% of our brains. According to this perspective, around 90% of our neurons lie dormant, all the while teasing us by reminding us that we have only achieved a small fraction of our human potential. In the movie, Scarlet Johansson plays a woman who takes an experimental new drug that makes her capable of using upwards of 90% of her brain. Due to this sudde........ Read more »

Howard-Jones, P. (2014) Neuroscience and education: myths and messages. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(12), 817-824. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3817  

  • January 9, 2015
  • 04:36 PM
  • 306 views

Humans keep the memories accurate by forgetting

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Your brain is a memory powerhouse, constantly recording experiences in long-term memory. Those memories help you find your way through the world: Who works the counter each morning at your favorite coffee shop? How do you turn on the headlights of your car? What color is your best friend’s house? But then your barista leaves for law school, you finally buy a new car and your buddy spends the summer with a paint brush in hand. Suddenly, your memories are out of date. So what do you do, forget a........ Read more »

Kim G, Lewis-Peacock JA, Norman KA, & Turk-Browne NB. (2014) Pruning of memories by context-based prediction error. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8997-9002. PMID: 24889631  

  • January 8, 2015
  • 05:33 PM
  • 334 views

Music takes the pain away post surgery

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In today’s society, when it is so easy to over medicate children and adults alike it is nice to finally read something that looks for an alternative option. This particular case deals with pain management in children post surgery and the study shows that pediatric patients who listened to 30 minutes of songs by Rihanna, Taylor Swift and other singers of their choosing — or audio books — had a significant reduction in pain after major surgery.... Read more »

  • January 8, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 267 views

Abdominal discomfort syndrome in a subset of ME/CFS

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The findings show that ADS [abdominal discomfort syndrome] is a characteristic of a subset of patients with ME/CFS [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and that increased bacterial translocation (leaky gut) is associated with ADS symptoms."Right there. God does not build in straight lines.So said the study by Michael Maes and colleagues [1] looking at both gastrointestinal (GI) symptom presentation in diagnosed cases of ME/CFS and "the IgA and IgM responses dire........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2015
  • 09:06 PM
  • 314 views

New antibiotic may help slow drug resistance

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Antibiotic resistance, a hot topic lately here at the labs, as evidence by this recent post. So it is fortuitous that I stumbled upon this little bit of research that suggests scientists (using a “revolutionary” approach) have devised an antibiotic that may offset the mounting problem of drug resistance for decades… hopefully.... Read more »

Ling LL, Schneider T, Peoples AJ, Spoering AL, Engels I, Conlon BP, Mueller A, Schäberle TF, Hughes DE, Epstein S.... (2015) A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance. Nature. PMID: 25561178  

  • January 7, 2015
  • 04:55 AM
  • 275 views

Inflaming inflammation and autism: linking microglial activation and neuronal activity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It has been quite a few weeks since the publication of the paper by Simone Gupta and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about "observations [that] provide pathways and candidate genes that highlight the interplay between innate immunity and neuronal activity in the aetiology of autism."I'm a wrecker. I wreck things, professionally. I mean.At the time of publication in early December (2014), there was quite a bit of media interest in the findings as per reports such as this one and th........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 06:11 PM
  • 397 views

Tropical forests absorbing more carbon dioxide than previously thought

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New analyses of theoretical models backed by experimental measurements indicate that tropical forests are absorbing much more CO2 than previously known!... Read more »

Schimel D, Stephens BB, & Fisher JB. (2014) Effect of increasing CO2 on the terrestrial carbon cycle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25548156  

  • January 6, 2015
  • 01:16 PM
  • 356 views

Lots of selfies may suggest you’re a narcissist

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Well I’ve got some bad news to all you selfie fanatics out there, a new study showed that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy. The study looked exclusively at men, however the men out there should have no fear, there is a follow up study being done with women as well.... Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 04:40 AM
  • 257 views

Olanzapine, gut bacteria and weight gain in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results collectively provide strong evidence for a mechanism underlying olanzapine-induced weight gain in mouse and a hypothesis for clinical translation in human patients."That was the summary statement derived from data published by Andrew Morgan and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at how some of those trillions of wee beasties which colonise humans and animals (the microbiome) may very well influence response to medicines... at least in mice. The authors' specific focus on on........ Read more »

Morgan AP, Crowley JJ, Nonneman RJ, Quackenbush CR, Miller CN, Ryan AK, Bogue MA, Paredes SH, Yourstone S, Carroll IM.... (2014) The Antipsychotic Olanzapine Interacts with the Gut Microbiome to Cause Weight Gain in Mouse. PloS one, 9(12). PMID: 25506936  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 03:42 PM
  • 426 views

Creating a better diet pill: The new drug that is making big promises

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Losing the weight, some of us never seem to be able to do it. Whether it is poor choice in diet, a medical condition, or just a sedentary lifestyle people everywhere are finding they can’t shed the pounds. Now there is a new drug that promises help in the weight loss department and works like nothing we’ve seen used for weight loss yet. The compound effectively stopped weight gain, lowered cholesterol, controlled blood sugar and minimized inflammation in mice, making it an excellent candidat........ Read more »

Fang, S., Suh, J., Reilly, S., Yu, E., Osborn, O., Lackey, D., Yoshihara, E., Perino, A., Jacinto, S., Lukasheva, Y.... (2015) Intestinal FXR agonism promotes adipose tissue browning and reduces obesity and insulin resistance. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3760  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 02:43 PM
  • 338 views

Outsmarting superbugs’ countermoves to antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades — such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections — are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs.... Read more »

Reeve SM, Gainza P, Frey KM, Georgiev I, Donald BR, & Anderson AC. (2014) Protein design algorithms predict viable resistance to an experimental antifolate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25552560  

  • January 3, 2015
  • 02:00 PM
  • 307 views

Not everyone sees health decline from obesity, but why is that?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The news isn’t shy in reporting the effects of being obese, high blood pressure, and diabetes (just to name a few). However, new research demonstrates that obesity does not always go hand in hand with metabolic changes in the body that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Determining how and why may help reduce or eliminate the health risks in other people dealing with obesity.... Read more »

Fabbrini E, Yoshino J, Yoshino M, Magkos F, Tiemann Luecking C, Samovski D, Fraterrigo G, Okunade AL, Patterson BW, & Klein S. (2015) Metabolically normal obese people are protected from adverse effects following weight gain. The Journal of clinical investigation. PMID: 25555214  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 08:38 PM
  • 358 views

The Futility of Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury (but hope for the future)

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem that affects about 1.5 million people per year in the US, with direct and indirect medical costs of over $50 billion. Rapid intervention to reduce the risk of death and disability is crucial. The diagnosis and treatment of TBI is an area of active preclinical and clinical research funded by NIH and other federal agencies. But during the White House BRAIN Conference, a leading neurosurgeon painted a pessimistic picture of current tre........ Read more »

Skolnick, B., Maas, A., Narayan, R., van der Hoop, R., MacAllister, T., Ward, J., Nelson, N., & Stocchetti, N. (2014) A Clinical Trial of Progesterone for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(26), 2467-2476. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1411090  

Wright, D., Yeatts, S., Silbergleit, R., Palesch, Y., Hertzberg, V., Frankel, M., Goldstein, F., Caveney, A., Howlett-Smith, H., Bengelink, E.... (2014) Very Early Administration of Progesterone for Acute Traumatic Brain Injury. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(26), 2457-2466. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1404304  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 02:28 PM
  • 302 views

HIV vaccines may make things worse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite what conspiracy theorists say, there is no cure for HIV. Not that people aren’t feverously working hard to find one, it is just really hard to do. To illustrate that point researchers have found that vaccines designed to protect against HIV can backfire and lead to increased rates of infection. This unfortunate effect has been seen in more than one vaccine clinical trial.... Read more »

Carnathan DG, Wetzel KS, Yu J, Lee ST, Johnson BA, Paiardini M, Yan J, Morrow MP, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB.... (2014) Activated CD4 CCR5 T cells in the rectum predict increased SIV acquisition in SIVGag/Tat-vaccinated rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25550504  

  • January 1, 2015
  • 01:27 PM
  • 291 views

New cancer treatment targets telomeres

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer, right now we don’t have much to fight it besides the standard surgery or chemo, neither of which is a great option. Well now scientists have targeted telomeres with a small molecule called 6-thiodG that takes advantage of the cell’s ‘biological clock’ to kill cancer cells and shrink tumor growth. Ideally this new technique will help eliminate the need for nasty drugs like those used in chemotherapy.... Read more »

  • December 31, 2014
  • 01:48 PM
  • 546 views

A surprising discovery about fast food portion sizes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Since the noticeable expansion of most of the worlds waistlines, people have come to lay the blame (amongst other things) almost squarely on fast food and ever increasing portion sizes. While the world and it’s leaders are dealing with this mysterious problem by trying to help push fast food chains in the direction of change, it might be surprising to know that according to new research, fast food portion sizes have changed little since 1996.... Read more »

Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE and Lichtenstein AH. (2014) Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurant Energy, Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content in the United States, 1996-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140202

Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE, Lichtenstein AH,. (2014) Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content Per 1,000 Kilocalories: Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurants, United States, 2000-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140335

  • December 30, 2014
  • 11:00 PM
  • 315 views

Education-Ish Research

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Veteran education researcher Deborah Ball (along with co-author Francesca Forzani) provide some measure of validation for many educators' frustrations, disappointments, and disaffections with education research. In a paper titled "What Makes Education Research 'Educational'?" published in December 2007, Ball and Forzani point to education research's tendency to focus on "phenomena related to education," rather than "inside educational transactions&quo........ Read more »

  • December 30, 2014
  • 01:07 PM
  • 490 views

Steak raises cancer risk and now we know why

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Some of you may remember a recent study showing why red meat is bad for the heart, while now there is a study showing why steak — or in particular red meats — raise the risk of cancer. To be clear, I am still very much a red meat eater and this is no way intended to change anyones opinions on steak consumption, but it is nice to understand the science behind what we put in our mouths.... Read more »

Samraj, A., Pearce, O., Läubli, H., Crittenden, A., Bergfeld, A., Banda, K., Gregg, C., Bingman, A., Secrest, P., Diaz, S.... (2014) A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201417508. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1417508112  

  • December 30, 2014
  • 12:04 PM
  • 354 views

Margaret Oakley Dayhoff, going on #ThatOtherShirt.

by Mary in OpenHelix

I’ve been a fan of Margaret Oakley Dayhoff for a long time. One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one linked in this tweet below. I can tell when students have been assigned a project to read up on her, because suddenly I see an influx of hits to the page. […]... Read more »

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