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  • December 8, 2014
  • 06:50 PM
  • 301 views

Don't miss out! Dogs Science from November

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Catch up! Participate! Plan your conferences for 2015! Check out all the latest in canine science from November here, thanks to the magic of Storify (if you don't see a beautiful array of handy snippets below, please click this link to view)[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-30 November 2014]" on Storify]Further reading: Cobb M., Paul McGreevy, Alan Lill & Pauleen Bennett (2014). The advent of canine performance science: Offering a sustainable future for working dogs, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.10.012 Hecht J. (2014). Citizen science: A new direction in canine behavior research, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.10.014Bradshaw J.W.S. & Rachel A. Casey (2009). Dominance in domestic dogs—useful construct or bad habit?, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 4 (3) 135-144. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2008.08.004Gosling S.D. & Oliver P. John (2003). A Dog's Got Personality: A Cross-Species Comparative Approach to Personality Judgments in Dogs and Humans., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85 (6) 1161-1169. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.6.1161© Do You Believe in Dog? 2014... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:30 PM
  • 324 views

Finding the real cost of climate change

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How much does global warming really cost the world? Determining the Social Cost of Carbon helps put a actual dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies. Remember, even on a global scale, the bottom line will always be profit. But now a group of economists and lawyers urge several improvements to the government's Social Cost of Carbon figure that would impose a regular, transparent and peer-reviewed process to ensure the figure is reliable and well-supported by the latest facts.... Read more »

Pizer, W., Adler, M., Aldy, J., Anthoff, D., Cropper, M., Gillingham, K., Greenstone, M., Murray, B., Newell, R., Richels, R.... (2014) Using and improving the social cost of carbon. Science, 346(6214), 1189-1190. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259774  

  • November 25, 2014
  • 05:17 PM
  • 340 views

Blu-ray solar power

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

So here’s something you don’t see everyday. Blu-ray disks, you know the stuff we use for video games or DVDs also improve the performance of solar cells—suggesting a second use for unwanted discs—according to new research from Northwestern University. As surprising as this was, there is even better news, we know why they improve performance.... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 06:39 PM
  • 334 views

Dogtober = Canine science in October

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.09.023Bozkurt A., Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang & Robert Loftin (2014). Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77© Do You Believe in Dog? 2014... Read more »

Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 276 views

Canine science catch up: 16-30 September 2014

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Gosh, it's been a busy ride since posting the excellent guest post by research, Cat Reeve, about her interesting detector dog research.  So now it's time to play catch up, starting with the canine science related things that we noticed in the second half of September, captured with the help of Storify - did you miss any of these?[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16 - 30 September 2014]" on Storify]Further reading (some of the abstracts from Canine Science Forum 2014 now available):Westgarth C. & Hayley E. Christian (2014). How can we motivate owners to walk their dogs more?, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9 (6) e6-e7. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.023 Fehringer A. (2014). Stress in shelter dogs and the use of foster care to improve animal welfare, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9 (6) e11. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.038 Horowitz A. & Hecht J. (2014). Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9 (6) e15. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.052Browne C.M., T. Mary Foster & James S. McEwan (2014). Dog training: Reinforcement timing and owner body language, Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9 (6) e17. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.059© Do You Believe in Dog? 2014... Read more »

Westgarth Carri, & Hayley E. Christian. (2014) How can we motivate owners to walk their dogs more?. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.023  

Horowitz Alexandra, & Hecht Julie . (2014) Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.052  

Browne Clare M., T. Mary Foster, & James S. McEwan. (2014) Dog training: Reinforcement timing and owner body language. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.059  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 342 views

What is the most instantly recognisable song?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Everyone knows a hook when they hear one, but scientists don’t know why. By playing the Hooked on Music game you are exploring the science of songs and helping us to unlock what makes music catchy.

Last weekend the preliminary outcome of the online game was announced in Manchester, UK at the MOSI, answering the question: What is the most instantly recognisable song? Interestingly, numerous media started to report on this. A small media hype?... Read more »

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

  • October 31, 2014
  • 06:37 AM
  • 305 views

Mind Blowing Brain Cases: The Man With A Hole In His Head

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

In this series neuroscientist Elisabeth Buhl Thubron takes a closer look at intriguing brain cases that revolutionised the field. Part I: The Man With A Whole In His Head... Read more »

Harlow JM. (1999) Passage of an iron rod through the head. 1848. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 11(2), 281-3. PMID: 10334003  

Ratiu P, Talos IF, Haker S, Lieberman D, & Everett P. (2004) The tale of Phineas Gage, digitally remastered. Journal of neurotrauma, 21(5), 637-43. PMID: 15165371  

Van Horn JD, Irimia A, Torgerson CM, Chambers MC, Kikinis R, & Toga AW. (2012) Mapping connectivity damage in the case of Phineas Gage. PloS one, 7(5). PMID: 22616011  

  • October 27, 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • 300 views

Exercise Fights Chronic Stress-Dependent Depression

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

It is known that physical exercise improves the symptoms of depression. Several hypotheses have been formulated to explain how this occurs, but no clear biochemical mechanism had so far been demonstrated.... Read more »

Agudelo LZ, Femenía T, Orhan F, Porsmyr-Palmertz M, Goiny M, Martinez-Redondo V, Correia JC, Izadi M, Bhat M, Schuppe-Koistinen I.... (2014) Skeletal Muscle PGC-1α1 Modulates Kynurenine Metabolism and Mediates Resilience to Stress-Induced Depression. Cell, 159(1), 33-45. PMID: 25259918  

Wrann CD, White JP, Salogiannnis J, Laznik-Bogoslavski D, Wu J, Ma D, Lin JD, Greenberg ME, & Spiegelman BM. (2013) Exercise induces hippocampal BDNF through a PGC-1α/FNDC5 pathway. Cell metabolism, 18(5), 649-59. PMID: 24120943  

  • October 21, 2014
  • 06:22 AM
  • 324 views

An Om A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Several studies show how meditating positively influences our minds and bodies. Read which medicines could be partially substituted or helped by a regular meditation practice.... Read more »

Anderson JW, Liu C, & Kryscio RJ. (2008) Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: a meta-analysis. American journal of hypertension, 21(3), 310-6. PMID: 18311126  

Davidson, R., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S., Urbanowski, F., Harrington, A., Bonus, K., & Sheridan, J. (2003) Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564-570. DOI: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3  

Delizonna, L., Williams, R., & Langer, E. (2009) The Effect of Mindfulness on Heart Rate Control. Journal of Adult Development, 16(2), 61-65. DOI: 10.1007/s10804-009-9050-6  

Epel E, Daubenmier J, Moskowitz JT, Folkman S, & Blackburn E. (2009) Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 34-53. PMID: 19735238  

Gaylord, S., Palsson, O., Garland, E., Faurot, K., Coble, R., Mann, J., Frey, W., Leniek, K., & Whitehead, W. (2011) Mindfulness Training Reduces the Severity of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Women: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 106(9), 1678-1688. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2011.184  

  • October 20, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 449 views

A Venusian Mystery Explored Once More

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Venus, the place where women are from... supposedly. To say Venus has a harsh climate would be an understatement, this is one of many reasons why we will never (or maybe not soon) see a "long lasting" Venus rover counterpart to our Mars rover missions. Still, the planet (much like all the other plants) can teach us a lot about not just our own origins, but the origins of the universe. Also like all our neighbor planets Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds, a mystery that might be soon solved, all thanks to a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old spacecraft data.... Read more »

Harrington, E. et. Al. (2014) The puzzle of radar-bright highlands on venus: a high-spatial resolution study in Ovda regio. Geological Society of America. info:other/136-4

  • October 20, 2014
  • 12:12 PM
  • 444 views

How a camera and quantum physics could improve phone security

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study uses mobile phone camera to detect light, using shot noise to generate true random numbers which researchers hope could be used for encryption in the future.... Read more »

Sanguinetti, B., Martin, A., Zbinden, H., & Gisin, N. (2014) Quantum Random Number Generation on a Mobile Phone. Physical Review X, 4(3). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031056  

  • October 18, 2014
  • 09:34 AM
  • 445 views

Merit’s Liquidity

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

The latest SAT and ACT data suggest that America’s cognitive elite have been enjoying new geographic mobility, but difficult economic times push them out of the elite strata, contrary to a prediction of The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray.... Read more »

nooffensebut. (2014) Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score. Open Differential Psychology, 1-19. info:other/

  • October 15, 2014
  • 02:22 PM
  • 392 views

You can tell [my mood] by the way I walk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever see a guy walking down the street and know he’s depressed? Or how about someone happy, with a little bounce in their step? The way we walk says a lot and by some estimates roughly 90% of what we are telling people isn’t coming out our mouth, it’s all body language. Our walk says a lot about the kind of mood we are in, but in the question of what came first our mood or our walk, researchers have now shown that it works both ways.... Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 08:34 AM
  • 336 views

Biochemical 'Memory' Can Help Bacteria to Grow

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

A new study explores ‘memory’ in E. coli to see how it impacts on their ability to grow in environments with fluctuating food sources. Recent exposure to a food source can reduce and even practically eliminate the 'lag' phase of growth when the food is reintroduced.... Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 04:38 AM
  • 305 views

How You Feel About People is Related to How You Feel About Cities

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

There are numerous structural factors that influence people’s attitudes towards cities. However, these factors may be constituents of broader sociocultural “questions” that people ask about their cities.  For example, residents’ concern about the transport and entertainment venues of a city might form part of a broader social psychological concern about the potential for the city to accommodate their need to meet friends and socialize with others. Alternatively, people might focus on a city’s economy and job opportunities because they are concerned about the ability of the city to meet their needs for personal income and wealth.Hong Kong - Why Would You Want to Live There?In some recently published research, Dr Tessa Morrison and I predicted that individual differences in individualism and collectivism operate as important predictors of people's city needs and goals. Individualism and collectivism are sociocultural orientations towards treating the self and others as individuals or group members respectively: Individualists see themselves and others as being self-reliant, autonomous, and independent, whereas collectivists are more interdependent and concerned about their social groups, including their family, friends, and community. We predicted that these dispositional orientations towards the self and others might also influence how people feel about cities.To test our predictions, we asked 148 psychology undergraduate students to take virtual guided tours around one of four Utopian historical cities - cities that had never been built and were unfamiliar to our participants. YouTube videos of the four guided tours can be viewed here: Christianopolis, City of the Sun, New Harmony, and Victoria, and the picture below shows a scene from one of the tours. Participants then evaluated the cities’ liveability and environmental quality and completed measures of individualism and collectivism.Consistent with our predictions, people with a strong sense of self-responsibility (a form of individualism) tended to evaluate the virtual cities in terms of their potential to meet the goal of acquiring resources, income, and wealth, whereas people with a strong sense of collectivism tended to evaluate the cities in terms of their potential to provide community and a sense of connection with others.Scene from a virtual tour around the Utopian city of VictoriaTo paraphrase Calvino (1978), city evaluation may be based on the answers that cities provide to our questions. However, our research suggests that different types of people have different types of questions. Individualists appear to ask: “can this city enhance my personal wealth?” whereas collectivists appear to ask: “can this city enhance my group’s community?”These findings are important because they can help us to understand why some people choose to move into certain cities and others choose to leave. However, a key limitation of our work is that it lacked ecological validity because it involved nonresidents evaluating novel, historical, virtual, and unpopulated cities. In our future research, we intend to measure residents’ evaluations of more familiar, modern, real-world, populated cities.For further information, please see the following journal article:Rubin, M., & Morrison, T. (2014). Individual Differences in Individualism and Collectivism Predict Ratings of Virtual Cities’ Liveability and Environmental Quality The Journal of General Psychology, 141 (4), 348-372 DOI: 10.1080/00221309.2014.938721  A self-archived version of this journal article is available here.... Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 10:09 PM
  • 230 views

Weight Bias and Physical Activity

by Abena Edugyan in Your Active Edge

Does seeing an overweight person being active reduce weight bias? ... Read more »

  • October 13, 2014
  • 10:18 AM
  • 342 views

Guiding light to boost algae biofuel production

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study uses waveguides dotted with SU-8 pillars to scatter light in a tank of algae. By varying the spacing of the pillars, light intensity across the tank was approximately uniform and increased algae growth by 'at least 40%' compared to scheme with uniformly-distributed pillars... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 07:23 PM
  • 321 views

Centrifuging people to see if gravity affects perception

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study looks places test subjects in a centrifuge to see the effect of different levels of simulated gravity on the 'perceptual upright'... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 06:48 PM
  • 303 views

Can our brains process words while we sleep?

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study investigates whether the human brain can respond to words while in a state of sleep... Read more »

Kouider, S., Andrillon, T., Barbosa, L., Goupil, L., & Bekinschtein, T. (2014) Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain. Current Biology, 24(18), 2208-2214. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.016  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:55 PM
  • 416 views

Orange Corn Aims to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

GMO food is still a hot button topic, honestly for no other reason than fear. Sure Monsanto is a big evil corporation, but the science is only as bad as what you do with it. In the modern fortified world we don’t think about vitamin deficiency or the horrible things that come with it, however vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem in developing countries. To combat this researchers have identified a set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels, a finding that could help combat vitamin A deficiency and macular degeneration in the elderly.... Read more »

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