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  • July 30, 2014
  • 07:32 AM
  • 784 views

Potentially habitable exoplanets found

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Two systems in the cosmic realm that are the closest to Earth found so far. At half the speed of light we can visit them within a single human lifetime.... Read more »

Anglada-Escude, G., Arriagada, P., Tuomi, M., Zechmeister, M., Jenkins, J., Ofir, A., Dreizler, S., Gerlach, E., Marvin, C., Reiners, A.... (2014) Two planets around Kapteyn's star: a cold and a temperate super-Earth orbiting the nearest halo red dwarf. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 443(1). DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slu076  

  • July 29, 2014
  • 07:35 AM
  • 979 views

Is Twitter Ruining Our Proper English?

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

“Hey al im on my way 2wrk but i totes 4got 2bring ur ipod sori il hav 2 bring it nxt tym ur workin. Hav a nice day xo”
Gives you the cramps? Maybe you should read this article.... Read more »

  • July 23, 2014
  • 07:01 AM
  • 788 views

Seeing Red: A New Way To Predict Preeclampsia

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

New Congo red test predicts development of preeclampsia with pregnant women. A large collaboration of scientists recently reported a new method of determining which women would develop preeclampsia. Urine samples were collected from more than 600 patients and mixed with a dye called Congo red. Congo red stains large clumps of proteins, but doesn’t mark smaller separate proteins.... Read more »

Buhimschi IA, Nayeri UA, Zhao G, Shook LL, Pensalfini A, Funai EF, Bernstein IM, Glabe CG, & Buhimschi CS. (2014) Protein misfolding, congophilia, oligomerization, and defective amyloid processing in preeclampsia. Science translational medicine, 6(245). PMID: 25031267  

Whitehead, N. (2014) Proteins and a pregnancy woe. Science, 345(6194), 249-249. DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6194.249  

  • July 22, 2014
  • 09:08 AM
  • 538 views

A History of Bioinformatics (told from the Year 2039)

by Mary in OpenHelix

A week or so back I was watching the chatter around the #ISMB / #BOSC2014 meeting, and saw a number of amusing and intriguing comments about Titus Brown’s keynote talk. [embedded tweets] You can see a lot of chatter about it in the Storify. I was delighted to soon see this follow up...... Read more »

  • July 22, 2014
  • 07:15 AM
  • 599 views

White or Brown: which is the better fat?

by Shefali Sabharanjak in United Academics

White adipose tissue or white fat has earned notoriety in the current obesity pandemic. But it is not right to throw white fat cells out of the window, just yet. Recent research has shown that conservation of energy-storing white fat cells can help to overcome cachexia brought on by chemotherapy in cancer patients. ... Read more »

Petruzzelli, M., Schweiger, M., Schreiber, R., Campos-Olivas, R., Tsoli, M., Allen, J., Swarbrick, M., Rose-John, S., Rincon, M., Robertson, G.... (2014) A Switch from White to Brown Fat Increases Energy Expenditure in Cancer-Associated Cachexia. Cell Metabolism. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.06.011  

  • July 17, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 781 views

Profiling Risk: Predicting Alcoholism In Adolescents

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

It appears that certain personality traits and traumatic early life events are typically associated with binge drinking in teenage years. However, the predictive power of each type of factors by itself (personality or individual history for example) is not absolute. A new study evaluated not only one single factor, but a series of psychological, genetic, and neurological elements for their ability to determine, when combined, current and future alcohol misuse in a large group of youngsters. ... Read more »

Whelan, R., Watts, R., Orr, C., Althoff, R., Artiges, E., Banaschewski, T., Barker, G., Bokde, A., Büchel, C., Carvalho, F.... (2014) Neuropsychosocial profiles of current and future adolescent alcohol misusers. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13402  

  • July 15, 2014
  • 10:07 PM
  • 457 views

Absurd, but Ture?

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

A look at the 'obesity paradox' and its ramifications.... Read more »

Bergman, R., Stefanovski, D., Buchanan, T., Sumner, A., Reynolds, J., Sebring, N., Xiang, A., & Watanabe, R. (2011) A Better Index of Body Adiposity. Obesity, 19(5), 1083-1089. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.38  

Gruberg, L., Weissman, N., Waksman, R., Fuchs, S., Deible, R., Pinnow, E., Ahmed, L., Kent, K., Pichard, A., Suddath, W.... (2002) The impact of obesity on the short-term andlong-term outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention: the obesity paradox?. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 39(4), 578-584. DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(01)01802-2  

Lavie, C., McAuley, P., Church, T., Milani, R., & Blair, S. (2014) Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(14), 1345-1354. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.01.022  

Lavie, C., De Schutter, A., Patel, D., Romero-Corral, A., Artham, S., & Milani, R. (2012) Body Composition and Survival in Stable Coronary Heart Disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 60(15), 1374-1380. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.05.037  

McAuley, P., & Blair, S. (2011) Obesity paradoxes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(8), 773-782. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2011.553965  

  • July 15, 2014
  • 10:13 AM
  • 619 views

Hosting the World Cup: is it worth it?

by Flora Brils in United Academics

The World Cup has come to an end. Brazil asks: do the costs outweigh the benefits? An economic analysis. ... Read more »

  • July 15, 2014
  • 03:38 AM
  • 832 views

Treating Sports Injuries The Drug Free Way

by Pushkar Sikka in Workout Trends

Did you just roll your ankle while playing your favorite sport? Has the back pain been bothering you for a while now? Or did your knee just suffer a bang because of that fall? One of the methods here may just be the answer of getting relief from that pain and treating it the drug free way. […]
The post Treating Sports Injuries The Drug Free Way appeared first on .
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Garra G, Singer AJ, Leno R, Taira BR, Gupta N, Mathaikutty B, & Thode HJ. (2010) Heat or cold packs for neck and back strain: a randomized controlled trial of efficacy. Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 17(5), 484-9. PMID: 20536800  

French SD, Cameron M, Walker BF, Reggars JW, & Esterman AJ. (2006) A Cochrane review of superficial heat or cold for low back pain. Spine, 31(9), 998-1006. PMID: 16641776  

  • July 11, 2014
  • 06:17 AM
  • 745 views

What ‘P.S. I Love You’ Taught Me About Blue Stress

by Samiiksha Rohilla in Workout Trends

Last evening, while watching people passing by my lane, I realized how lucky it is to be happy and alive. It wasn’t the same with me a few months back. I used to prefer staying alone. I had locked my guitar inside the cupboard. And I had quit my work. Was I in a state of […]
The post What ‘P.S. I Love You’ Taught Me About Blue Stress appeared first on .
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  • July 11, 2014
  • 05:17 AM
  • 698 views

Get Your 8 Hours Sleep: How Your Brain Makes Memories

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Conventional wisdom says that sleep is an important part of learning (remember your teachers telling you to get a good night’s sleep before a big test?), but what is your brain actually doing while you are sleeping? New studies confirm and explain this notion... Read more »

Yang G, Lai CS, Cichon J, Ma L, Li W, & Gan WB. (2014) Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6188), 1173-8. PMID: 24904169  

Euston DR, & Steenland HW. (2014) Neuroscience. Memories--getting wired during sleep. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6188), 1087-8. PMID: 24904140  

  • July 10, 2014
  • 11:19 AM
  • 1,041 views

Haha, kkkk, 555, LOL, jaja: Globalization Through Internet Jokes

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

In a recent article from Shifman, Levy and Thelwall, internet jokes are found to serve as an important and powerful agent of globalization and americanization. To research the role of internet jokes, they look at the concept of “user-generated globalization”, where internet users are the focal points through which user-generated content (in this case jokes) is translated, customized and distributed across the globe.... Read more »

Shifman, L., Levy, H., & Thelwall, M. (2014) Internet Jokes: The Secret Agents of Globalization?. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12082  

  • July 9, 2014
  • 09:21 AM
  • 825 views

A Deadly Shot: Heart Attacks During The World Cup

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Studies show that there is an increase in cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, at the time of important football matches like the World Cup. Especially penalty shoot-outs can cause a higher number of myocardial infarctions. However, there are also studies that report no significant influence or even a decrease in cardiac emergencies.... Read more »

Mendenhall, M., Ute Wilbert-Lampen, M.D.,, David Leistner, M.D.,, Sonja Greven, M.S.,, Tilmann Pohl, M.D.,, Sebastian Sper,, Christoph Völker,, Denise Güthlin,, Andrea Plasse,, Andreas Knez, M.D.,.... (2008) Cardiovascular Events During World Cup Soccer. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 35(1), 114-115. DOI: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2008.03.028  

Carroll D, Ebrahim S, Tilling K, Macleod J, & Smith GD. (2002) Admissions for myocardial infarction and World Cup football: database survey. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 325(7378), 1439-42. PMID: 12493655  

  • July 9, 2014
  • 01:18 AM
  • 704 views

The Warrior Gene, Back from the Grave

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Recently two meta-analyses on the gene, monoamine oxidase A, and its relationship with violence came to opposite conclusions. I review those studies and pose the questions that the scientists were too afraid to answer.... Read more »

  • July 7, 2014
  • 07:09 AM
  • 785 views

Revealed: The Secret Of An Intellectual Brain

by Shyamali Sharma in Workout Trends

“Do you love to write? I do… Do you prefer typing rather than writing? I do…” Well, I might sound like a bride standing on the altar in front of my groom. The priest asks me the most obvious questions and I nonchalantly reply, “Yes, I do.” Students and tech savvy people are also most likely […]
The post Revealed: The Secret Of An Intellectual Brain appeared first on .
... Read more »

  • July 6, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 916 views

Day 5: BLUE and PURPLE Foods

by Namrata Diengdoh in Workout Trends

Whenever I close my eyes and imagine the color purple the first thought that comes to my mind is royalty. So does blue does it not? However, when I think blue it brings more serenity to my thoughts. Did you know that this color food group helps people who are looking forward to losing weight? […]
The post Day 5: BLUE and PURPLE Foods appeared first on .
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García-Zepeda SP, García-Villa E, Díaz-Chávez J, Hernández-Pando R, & Gariglio P. (2013) Resveratrol induces cell death in cervical cancer cells through apoptosis and autophagy. European journal of cancer prevention : the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation (ECP), 22(6), 577-84. PMID: 23603746  

Krikorian, R., Shidler, M., Nash, T., Kalt, W., Vinqvist-Tymchuk, M., Shukitt-Hale, B., & Joseph, J. (2010) Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults . Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), 3996-4000. DOI: 10.1021/jf9029332  

  • July 5, 2014
  • 08:31 AM
  • 584 views

Day 4: Cleansing With WHITE Foods

by Namrata Diengdoh in Workout Trends

  “If I have been indulging in rich foods, a cleanse is a wonderful way to hit the reset button.” - Salma Hayek Now are not those beautiful words and don’t those words hold so much weight in them. If we think carefully and analyze our life pattern in the present time then it is […]
The post Day 4: Cleansing With WHITE Foods appeared first on .
... Read more »

Padayatty, S., Katz, A., Wang, Y., Eck, P., Kwon, O., Lee, J., Chen, S., Corpe, C., Dutta, A., Dutta, S.... (2003) Vitamin C as an Antioxidant: Evaluation of Its Role in Disease Prevention. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 22(1), 18-35. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2003.10719272  

Handley, S., Dunn, T., Waldron, G., & Baker, J. (1980) Tryptophan, cortisol and puerperal mood. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 136(5), 498-508. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.136.5.498  

Shukla, Y., & Singh, M. (2007) Cancer preventive properties of ginger: A brief review. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 45(5), 683-690. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.11.002  

McCarron, D., Morris, C., Henry, H., & Stanton, J. (1984) Blood pressure and nutrient intake in the United States. Science, 224(4656), 1392-1398. DOI: 10.1126/science.6729459  

  • July 4, 2014
  • 08:44 PM
  • 933 views

The Bigfoot Question: A Genetic Analysis of Yeti Hair

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Bigfoot, and that’s a shame because he’s pretty fun to write about. As with many things, I like to keep it in a scientific context. That’s why I was pretty stoked to see a recent Sasquatch paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. A paper that takes an interesting approach: genetics. Right off the bat the paper does not assume non-existence, both pointing out that there are numerous reports and sightings yet no bodies or recent fossils. Theories abound about what these animals are, ranging from surviving populations of collateral hominids to unlikely hybrids. As a general rule, modern science shies away from the yeti-finding field, to the point that they make believers feel rejected. Admittedly, believers have point in that science should not accept or reject anything without examining the evidence and testing hypotheses. Pretty much the definition of science, right? So that's what authors Sykes et al. do, take a scientific approach.The researchers collected a total of 57 Bigfoot hair samples submissions from museum and individual collections. They went about it all officially with a joint press release in May 2012 by Museum of Zoology, Lausanne and the University of Oxford. Then, to eliminate obvious non-hairs, they subjected the samples to macroscopic, microscopic and infrared fluorescence examination. Based on provenance or historic interest, thirty-seven of the samples were selected for genetic analysis. Hairs were first cleaned to remove surface contamination - just consider how many people had handled a sample, so you need to eliminate known human DNA to leave just sample DNA. The meticulously cleaned hair samples were then ground in a buffer to homogenate, incubated with proteinase K, and extracted for PCR amplification. This amplification was of the ribosomal mitrochondrial DNA 12S fragment corresponding to bps 1093-1196 of the human mitrochondrial genome, using a permissive primer combination that allows for a wide range of mammalian DNA. The results were then compared to GenBank accessions for species identification.Perhaps it is important to point out what the 12S mitochondrial DNA is and how it works. Even within fur-bearing species, there is a large amount of variation in hair appearance that can be identified under the microscope to determine species. But, in the absence of an experienced hair examiner (yes, those exist), a reliable, alternative analysis must be used. This analysis comes in the form of highly conserved mitochondrial DNA regions, these are particular sequences that have been maintained by evolution despite speciation, probably because they are functional. Mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA has an amplification size that renders it useful for even problematic and/or degraded samples. Highly conserved primer regions and the high nucleotide species diversity present within the portion of the 12S gene examined allows for identification at least to genus and often species. Studies examining the extent of 12S homology within and between species have shown a high degree of confidence in the test's ability to match species from biological samples, usually hair. This includes primate homologies like the chimpanzee, who shares a 98% homology with the human 12S region, Gorilla (97%) and rhesus macaque (90%). These studies have shown that it is unlikely that a non-human primate hair could be confused with human hair using this system.Now knowing all of this, back to the results of the Bigfoot study. Despite multiple attempts, seven of the samples yielded no DNA sequences, leaving the researchers with 30 samples. These 30 samples were each matched to a known species. Ten belonged to various bear species, four were cows, four were horse, four were wolves/dogs, two were raccoons, one was a deer, one a Malaysian tapir, one a sheep, one a serow, and one was human (exact match).There has been quite a few articles in the news about this study, and that’s good because this paper is a nice example of using hard science to test a theory. It is also works towards bridging the gap between two rather disparate groups of people. So kudos to you Sykes et al. Sykes, B., Mullis, R., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T., & Sartori, M. (2014). Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1789), 20140161-20140161 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161A nice write-up from Science News "'Bigfoot' samples analyzed in lab"For more on 12S see an article in Forensic Magazine titled "Easy Species DNA Identification for the Forensic Laboratory Using 12S Mitochondrial DNA"(images via WhoFortedBlog, NewEngland BioLabs, Nature Reviews Genetic paper DOI:10.1038/nrg1606, respectively)... Read more »

Sykes, B., Mullis, R., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T., & Sartori, M. (2014) Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1789), 20140161-20140161. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0161  

  • July 4, 2014
  • 10:48 AM
  • 994 views

Parents’ Income Poorly Predicts SAT Score

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Here I publish my original study that disproves family income as an important influence on SAT scores, shows race as having its greatest influence on scores at the highest education and income levels, and provides some preliminary evidence for a hereditary influence.... Read more »

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

Bartels M, Rietveld MJ, Van Baal GC, & Boomsma DI. (2002) Heritability of educational achievement in 12-year-olds and the overlap with cognitive ability. Twin research : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies, 5(6), 544-53. PMID: 12573186  

Duckworth AL, Quinn PD, Lynam DR, Loeber R, & Stouthamer-Loeber M. (2011) Role of test motivation in intelligence testing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(19), 7716-20. PMID: 21518867  

Duncan, J., Seitz, R.J., Kolodny, J., Bor, D., Herzog, H., Ahmed, A., Newell, F.N., & Emslie, H. (2000) A Neural Basis for General Intelligence. Science, 289(5478), 457-460. DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.457  

MacCallum RC, Wegener DT, Uchino BN, & Fabrigar LR. (1993) The problem of equivalent models in applications of covariance structure analysis. Psychological bulletin, 114(1), 185-99. PMID: 8346326  

Marioni RE, Davies G, Hayward C, Liewald D, Kerr SM, Campbell A, Luciano M, Smith BH, Padmanabhan S, Hocking LJ.... (2014) Molecular genetic contributions to socioeconomic status and intelligence. Intelligence, 44(100), 26-32. PMID: 24944428  

Trzaskowski M, Harlaar N, Arden R, Krapohl E, Rimfeld K, McMillan A, Dale PS, & Plomin R. (2014) Genetic influence on family socioeconomic status and children's intelligence. Intelligence, 42(100), 83-88. PMID: 24489417  

  • July 3, 2014
  • 06:20 PM
  • 622 views

Igniting Sparks, Surviving Fireworks and Dog Science July!

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hey Julie, well, here I am, back in chilly, wintry Melbourne. #SPARCS2014 was an amazing event - such an intense three days with early feedback suggesting over 40,000 people joined in online for canine science, excitement, wonderful researchers and inspiration!  You've done a great job capturing the essence and feedback of this international conference over at DogSpies on the Scientific American Blog Network. I'm so pleased someone took photos, or I think I would have convinced myself it was all just a rather lovely dream! I loved our time together in Rhode Island and New York - especially the bit where we ate Peter Pan donuts and talked about - actually, all I remember now is the original glazed. Ahhhh. Donnuuuuttttttttttts.I'm betting we were probably talking about what a crazy month July is shaping up to be - and by crazy, I mean in all the best ways. We've both returned home only to launch into full conference-prep-mode the Canine Science Forum (this year also featuring, for the first time, the Feline Science Forum) July14-17th - people can follow on Twitter @CSFFSF2014 at #CSFFSF2014.I'm excited that we are both sharing our own research at the conference in the form of oral presentations and posters, so we've both got plenty to prepare. I've enjoyed reading over the newly-released Scientific Programme to see what other topics are being presented! These 30-ish original research presentations represent the latest in our field in the two years since the 3rd CSF in Barcelona (where we met!) as well as the introduction of a new 'Controversies in Canine Science' talks (with topics like 'To what extent does hybrid vigour exist in dogs?'). Talks are sure to ignite more passionate discussions, like those we enjoyed in the panel discussions at SPARCS 2014. With just two weeks to go, I'm thinking things might get a little quiet here on the blog as we focus on preparing to share our research. I know I am going to need every spare moment to get organised and travel to the UK where I also get to see my gorgeous sister in law get married before we meet up again in Lincoln. I hope everyone who enjoys our blog will keep in touch with our updates on Facebook and Twitter during July.Perhaps it's a good time to review some posts from our archives? So much great canine science discussed over the two years since we launched the Do You Believe in Dog? project. It's actually really fun to reflect on how much we've shared in the course of writing to each other. With 4th of July hitting various parts of the world this week, I'd probably recommend the series of posts we've both contributed to about helping our canine companions with fireworks:Fireworks: not fun for everyone (or every dog)What kinds of dogs are troubled by fireworks, and what to do about itHow to make fireworks less upsetting for dogsI'm going back to drafting my presentation powerpoint for #CSFFSF2014 now Julie - see you in Lincoln, UK soon!Mia... Read more »

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