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  • March 5, 2016
  • 05:30 PM
  • 284 views

Retrieval Practice Effective for Young Students

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

These results are about as straightforward as they come in the social sciences. In an article published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers report the results of three experiments which show that the benefits of retrieval practice (practice with retrieving items from memory) extends to children as much as to adults.... Read more »

Jeffrey D. Karpicke, Janell R. Blunt, & Megan A. Smith. (2016) Retrieval-Based Learning: Positive Effects of Retrieval Practice in Elementary School Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 2-28. info:/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00350

  • March 4, 2016
  • 11:30 AM
  • 254 views

Damn Statistics!

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

How are cancer risk factors identified? And why are they like cake?... Read more »

Pérez-Hernández,A.I., Catalán, V., Gómez-Ambrosi, J., AmaiaRodríguez, A., & Frühbeck, G. (2014) Mechanisms Linking Excess Adiposity and Carcinogenesis Promotion. Frontiers in Endocrinology. DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2014.00065  

Bagnardi, V., Rota, M., Botteri, E., Tramacere, I., Islami, F., Fedirko, V., Scotti, L., Jenab, M., Turati, F., Pasquali, E.... (2012) Light alcohol drinking and cancer: a meta-analysis. Annals of Oncology, 24(2), 301-308. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mds337  

Bouvard, V., Loomis, D., Guyton, K., Grosse, Y., Ghissassi, F., Benbrahim-Tallaa, L., Guha, N., Mattock, H., & Straif, K. (2015) Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1  

AG McCluskey. (2016) Damn Statistics. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • March 1, 2016
  • 08:59 AM
  • 247 views

Schizophrenia Killed The Cat

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Toxoplasma may no longer be responsible for mental disorders... Read more »

  • February 24, 2016
  • 10:10 AM
  • 289 views

Ravens Can See Themselves As Someone Else

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Study shows that ravens have “Theory of Mind,” something that was thought only humans had.... Read more »

Bugnyar, T., Reber, S., & Buckner, C. (2016) Ravens attribute visual access to unseen competitors. Nature Communications, 10506. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10506  

  • February 23, 2016
  • 06:10 AM
  • 297 views

Love? All You Need is... Oxytocin

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is involved in emphatetic behaviours in tiny rodents.... Read more »

Burkett, J., Andari, E., Johnson, Z., Curry, D., de Waal, F., & Young, L. (2016) Oxytocin-dependent consolation behavior in rodents. Science, 351(6271), 375-378. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4785  

  • February 18, 2016
  • 12:00 PM
  • 282 views

Flint’s Food Desert is Blossoming

by Jenny Ludmer in Rooster's Report

Clean water isn’t the only problem faced by residents of Flint, Michigan. Over the decades, with a fleeing population and closing businesses, the area had quickly became a neglected “food desert” too. But, according to research from Michigan State University, it only took a simple shift — a relocation of the Farmer’s Market — to begin to undo the damage.... Read more »

  • February 10, 2016
  • 02:19 AM
  • 268 views

Technically good news for paralyzed people

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Newly developed paperclip sized, mind control device can be placed in the brain, and can be used to help the people with paralysis to walk again.

Published in:

Nature Biotechnology

Study Further:

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have developed a “REVOLUTIONARY” device, a “bionic spinal cord” that can be implanted in a blood vessel in the brain and can help patients of spinal cord injuries to move and walk without any outside assistance. The device would help patients in translating their thoughts into actions and helping in movement of bionic limbs, though the actual limbs would not be reactivated.

The device is of the size of a small paperclip. It consists of stentrode, which is a stent-based electrode, and needs minimal invasion, i.e. major brain surgery is not required to implant the device in the brain. It can record high-quality signals released from the motor cortex of the brain, and use those signals to move bionic limbs as, for example, patients would be able to move a wheelchair with the help of thoughts.

The device can help in moving bionic limbs (Image source: The stentrode device, described as a bionic spinal cord (Image source: University of Melbourne)
The device can help in moving bionic limbs (Image source: The stentrode device, described as a bionic spinal cord (Image source: University of Melbourne)
“What has been shown in other instances is that patients can learn over time to use their brain to move devices in a particular way that they choose to do,” Professor Clive May, a neurophysiologist at the Florey Institute, stated.

First human trials of the device will be done at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2017.

The research was funded by many organisations including the US Defence Department and the Australian Defence Health Foundation.

Source:

Oxley, T., Opie, N., John, S., Rind, G., Ronayne, S., Wheeler, T., Judy, J., McDonald, A., Dornom, A., Lovell, T., Steward, C., Garrett, D., Moffat, B., Lui, E., Yassi, N., Campbell, B., Wong, Y., Fox, K., Nurse, E., Bennett, I., Bauquier, S., Liyanage, K., van der Nagel, N., Perucca, P., Ahnood, A., Gill, K., Yan, B., Churilov, L., French, C., Desmond, P., Horne, M., Kiers, L., Prawer, S., Davis, S., Burkitt, A., Mitchell, P., Grayden, D., May, C., & O’Brien, T. (2016). Minimally invasive endovascular stent-electrode array for high-fidelity, chronic recordings of cortical neural activity Nature Biotechnology DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3428... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 02:41 PM
  • 319 views

Brain power: Wirelessly supplying power to the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Human and animal movements generate slight neural signals from their brain cells. These signals obtained using a neural interface are essential for realizing brain-machine interfaces (BMI). Such neural recording systems using wires to connect the implanted device to an external device can cause infections through the opening in the skull. One method of solving this issue is to develop a wireless neural interface that is fully implantable on the brain.

... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 08:28 AM
  • 236 views

Bring Me Sunshine...

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

The latest Public Health statement is about the dangers of suntanning. But what IS a suntan? And how could it lead to cancer...?... Read more »

NICE. (2016) Sunlight exposure: risks and benefits. National Institute for Health . info:/

Newton-Bishop, J., Chang, Y., Elliott, F., Chan, M., Leake, S., Karpavicius, B., Haynes, S., Fitzgibbon, E., Kukalizch, K., Randerson-Moor, J.... (2011) Relationship between sun exposure and melanoma risk for tumours in different body sites in a large case-control study in a temperate climate. European Journal of Cancer, 47(5), 732-741. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2010.10.008  

  • February 8, 2016
  • 01:59 PM
  • 410 views

We can build it better: Synthetic biopathway turns agriculture waste into ‘green’ products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.

... Read more »

Tai, Y., Xiong, M., Jambunathan, P., Wang, J., Wang, J., Stapleton, C., & Zhang, K. (2016) Engineering nonphosphorylative metabolism to generate lignocellulose-derived products. Nature Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2020  

  • January 28, 2016
  • 06:33 AM
  • 356 views

4 Ways Meat Industry Is Destroying The Environment

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

Meat industry is responsible for irreversible environmental damages, from deforestation to water shortage.... Read more »

Herrero, M., Havlik, P., Valin, H., Notenbaert, A., Rufino, M., Thornton, P., Blummel, M., Weiss, F., Grace, D., & Obersteiner, M. (2013) Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(52), 20888-20893. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308149110  

Gorbach, S. (2001) Antimicrobial Use in Animal Feed — Time to Stop. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(16), 1202-1203. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200110183451610  

White, D., Zhao, S., Sudler, R., Ayers, S., Friedman, S., Chen, S., McDermott, P., McDermott, S., Wagner, D., & Meng, J. (2001) The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(16), 1147-1154. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa010315  

Tilman, D., Cassman, K., Matson, P., Naylor, R., & Polasky, S. (2002) Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature, 418(6898), 671-677. DOI: 10.1038/nature01014  

  • January 27, 2016
  • 05:50 PM
  • 335 views

Holding Back: Inhibition

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

I remember years ago being required to write math problems containing unnecessary information so that students would have to choose the information that they needed. But just making kids do something is not the same thing as teaching them something. It is, rather, a total cave to assessment obsession—we just found a way to call assessment "instruction".... Read more »

  • January 27, 2016
  • 11:32 AM
  • 310 views

Technobabble 101

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Why are scientific articles so hard to read? Why? WHY???... Read more »

  • January 27, 2016
  • 06:33 AM
  • 284 views

A Steak A Day Will Keep Sustainability Away

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

Meat unsustainable practices are damaging Earth's resources... Read more »

Herrero, M., Havlik, P., Valin, H., Notenbaert, A., Rufino, M., Thornton, P., Blummel, M., Weiss, F., Grace, D., & Obersteiner, M. (2013) Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(52), 20888-20893. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308149110  

Gorbach, S. (2001) Antimicrobial Use in Animal Feed — Time to Stop. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(16), 1202-1203. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200110183451610  

White, D., Zhao, S., Sudler, R., Ayers, S., Friedman, S., Chen, S., McDermott, P., McDermott, S., Wagner, D., & Meng, J. (2001) The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(16), 1147-1154. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa010315  

Tilman, D., Cassman, K., Matson, P., Naylor, R., & Polasky, S. (2002) Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature, 418(6898), 671-677. DOI: 10.1038/nature01014  

  • January 25, 2016
  • 11:52 AM
  • 365 views

Zika virus and the negligence towards health research in poor countries

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll About a year ago, almost nobody on the whole world was aware of the existence of a virus named Zika virus and the illness it may cause in humans, the Zika fever or Zika disease. But … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 21, 2016
  • 02:27 PM
  • 353 views

Anxious? Chronic stress and anxiety can damage the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A scientific review paper warns that people need to find ways to reduce chronic stress and anxiety in their lives or they may be at increased risk for developing depression and even dementia. Led by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, the review examined brain areas impacted by chronic anxiety, fear and stress in animal and human studies that are already published.... Read more »

Mah, L., Szabuniewicz, C., & Fiocco, A. (2016) Can anxiety damage the brain?. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 29(1), 56-63. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000223  

  • January 20, 2016
  • 02:29 PM
  • 420 views

Overwhelmed and depressed? Well, there may be a connection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever feel overwhelmed when you are depressed, well the good news is it isn't just you, the bad news is it's probably your brain. Regions of the brain that normally work together to process emotion become decoupled in people who experience multiple episodes of depression, neuroscientists report. The findings may help identify which patients will benefit from long term antidepressant treatment to prevent the recurrence of depressive episodes.

... Read more »

Jacobs, R., Barba, A., Gowins, J., Klumpp, H., Jenkins, L., Mickey, B., Ajilore, O., Peciña, M., Sikora, M., Ryan, K.... (2016) Decoupling of the amygdala to other salience network regions in adolescent-onset recurrent major depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715002615  

  • January 19, 2016
  • 06:47 AM
  • 295 views

Slowing Down The Clock

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

New drugs can delay aging and rejuvenate tissues.... Read more »

Chang, J., Wang, Y., Shao, L., Laberge, R., Demaria, M., Campisi, J., Janakiraman, K., Sharpless, N., Ding, S., Feng, W.... (2015) Clearance of senescent cells by ABT263 rejuvenates aged hematopoietic stem cells in mice. Nature Medicine, 22(1), 78-83. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4010  

Baker, D., Wijshake, T., Tchkonia, T., LeBrasseur, N., Childs, B., van de Sluis, B., Kirkland, J., & van Deursen, J. (2011) Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells delays ageing-associated disorders. Nature, 479(7372), 232-236. DOI: 10.1038/nature10600  

van Deursen, J. (2014) The role of senescent cells in ageing. Nature, 509(7501), 439-446. DOI: 10.1038/nature13193  

  • January 16, 2016
  • 11:30 PM
  • 384 views

Perplexity Is Not Required for Learning

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Taken at face value, the relative lack of effect of such conflicts across a broad range of studies falsifies the cognitive conflict hypothesis: The difficulty of conceptual change must reside elsewhere than in conflict, or rather the lack thereof, between misconceptions and normatively correct subject matter.... Read more »

Ramsburg, J., & Ohlsson, S. (2016) Category change in the absence of cognitive conflict. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(1), 98-113. DOI: 10.1037/edu0000050  

  • January 15, 2016
  • 01:12 AM
  • 418 views

Where and when did the wolf become man’s best friend?

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Did dogs become domesticated in Southeast Asia or Europe? New study challenges recent research... Read more »

Wang, G., Zhai, W., Yang, H., Wang, L., Zhong, L., Liu, Y., Fan, R., Yin, T., Zhu, C., Poyarkov, A.... (2015) Out of southern East Asia: the natural history of domestic dogs across the world. Cell Research, 26(1), 21-33. DOI: 10.1038/cr.2015.147  

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