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  • June 21, 2013
  • 05:23 AM

Study: That Tattoo Makes You Look Promiscuous

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

Study shows that men are more likely to approach a woman with tattoos.... Read more »

Guéguen, N. (2012) Tattoos, Piercings, and Sexual Activity. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 40(9), 1543-1547. DOI: 10.2224/sbp.2012.40.9.1543  

Nowosielski, K., Sipiński, A., Kuczerawy, I., Kozłowska-Rup, D., & Skrzypulec-Plinta, V. (2012) Tattoos, Piercing, and Sexual Behaviors in Young Adults. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(9), 2307-2314. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02791.x  

  • June 20, 2013
  • 10:19 AM

New Improved Allergy-Treatment Developed

by Pieter Carriere in United Academics

Charlie Chaplin once said: “The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury”. Strikingly, being accustomed to ‘luxurious’ health care in the developed world is associated with more prevalent ‘saddening’ allergic disorders. In the developed world, about 25% of the population suffers from allergic disorders, like hay fever, asthma, eczema and anaphylaxis (which is a life-threatening allergic reaction) (As reviewed by Galli et al., 2008).... Read more »

Dhaliwal B, Yuan D, Pang MO, Henry AJ, Cain K, Oxbrow A, Fabiane SM, Beavil AJ, McDonnell JM, Gould HJ.... (2012) Crystal structure of IgE bound to its B-cell receptor CD23 reveals a mechanism of reciprocal allosteric inhibition with high affinity receptor FcεRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(31), 12686-91. PMID: 22802656  

Galli, S., Tsai, M., & Piliponsky, A. (2008) The development of allergic inflammation. Nature, 454(7203), 445-454. DOI: 10.1038/nature07204  

Gould, H., & Sutton, B. (2008) IgE in allergy and asthma today. Nature Reviews Immunology, 8(3), 205-217. DOI: 10.1038/nri2273  

Chen BH, Kilmon MA, Ma C, Caven TH, Chan-Li Y, Shelburne AE, Tombes RM, Roush E, & Conrad DH. (2003) Temperature effect on IgE binding to CD23 versus Fc epsilon RI. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), 170(4), 1839-45. PMID: 12574349  

  • June 20, 2013
  • 05:20 AM

Lunar Crater Discovery Helps Unlock Moon’s Secrets

by Sunanda Creagh and Francisca Gallardo in United Academics

In a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, the researchers described using a technique called “gravity mapping” which tracks the movement of satellites to make calculations about surface terrain. “As a satellite passes over a set of dense lunar rocks, it gets pulled toward the moon, so by tracking its orbit, scientists can deduce the gravity field of the moon. We also looked at the shape of topography and, together with the gravity, made our deduction,” said lead author of the new study, Professor Will Featherstone of Curtin’s Institute for Geoscience Research. “If you have something that looks like an impact basin with a gravity anomaly, then it is likely it really is an impact crater.... Read more »

Featherstone, W., Hirt, C., & Kuhn, M. (2013) Band-limited Bouguer gravity identifies new basins on the Moon. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. DOI: 10.1002/jgre.20101  

  • June 19, 2013
  • 11:55 AM

What is Foreign Accent Syndrome?

by Lyndsey Nickels in United Academics

In the past few days, a great deal of media attention has been paid to Leanne Rowe, a Tasmanian woman who has lived eight years with a French accent she acquired after a car accident. This phenomenon is known as foreign accent syndrome, a rare disorder that usually arises after brain damage as a result of, for example, stroke or head injury.

Foreign accent syndrome has always been the source of much media interest and the stories often sound sensational. There has been, for example, an American who spoke with a British accent, a British Yorkshireman with an Irish accent and another British man with a Russian accent.... Read more »

David Stehling. (2009) Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS): The Speech Characteristics of Foreign Accent Syndrome. Grin. info:/

  • June 19, 2013
  • 10:58 AM

Sons and daughters of same-sex couples grow up as good as in traditional families.

by Simone Munao in United Academics

Sons and daughters of same-sex couples grow up as good as in traditional families. That's what Australian research shows us.... Read more »

  • June 19, 2013
  • 10:36 AM

Kids of Same-Sex Couples Are Just as Happy As Those In Traditional Families

by Simone Munao in United Academics

They live with two mums or two dads, and they are on the same level as their school friends regarding self-esteem, emotional behavior and time spent with their parents. But they seem to have the edge over the average regarding overall health and familiar cohesion. Kids that grow with homosexual couples grow up as good as in traditional families, and even better in some aspects. This seems to be confirmed by a study conducted by a group of researchers of the University of Melbourne on 500 minors living in Australia: member of same-sex families are closer to one another –the research suggests- since they have to face attacks that come from society, digest them and give them an explanation.... Read more »

  • June 19, 2013
  • 06:45 AM

Rotten America - Big Prison, Arrest Quotas, and What Education Really Pays For

by Ryo in Skeptikai

America is being eroded by greed. More schools are being closed, more prisons are being built, and money is changing hands in all the wrong places. From limiting the potential of the future generations, to arresting innocent people for personal gain, America has become rotten.

Like a rat in a Skinner box, when you give the right incentives, they're motivated to get the cheese. But unlike in the Skinner box, the cheese taken in America is at the expense of others.

This article explains it all, from incentives to education. ... Read more »

  • June 19, 2013
  • 05:02 AM

Are you really at risk of attack by someone with schizophrenia?

by Rebecca Syed in United Academics

A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer in our beds. But by pressuring mental health services to focus on the risk of violence we are in danger of actually increasing it.

Most of the debate around risk and offending has centred around schizophrenia – the bread and butter of community psychiatry. But what is the evidence relating to the risk of violence in those diagnosed with schizophrenia? It’s tricky because schizophrenia varies so much in character and severity. And other factors known to have an association with violent crime, like migration and social disadvantage, are often also implicated as a part of the cause or consequence of schizophrenia.... Read more »

  • June 18, 2013
  • 12:09 PM

Even ‘environmentally protective’ levels of pesticide devastate insect biodiversity

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

Pesticide levels considered environmentally friendly in Europe and Australia are, in fact, having a devastating effect on invertebrate insect biodiversity in nearby creeks and streams, a new study has found, showing the need for an urgent overhaul of the way pesticide risk is assessed. Water-dwelling invertebrates like worms, snails, crustaceans, mites and insects play a crucial role in regional ecosystems because they provide food for fish, birds and platypuses.... Read more »

Beketov, M., Kefford, B., Schafer, R., & Liess, M. (2013) Pesticides reduce regional biodiversity of stream invertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1305618110  

  • June 18, 2013
  • 03:55 AM

Explainer: Why Do Women Menstruate?

by Dyani Lewis in United Academics

For half the population, it comes three to five days each month, 12 months each year, for 40 years of our lives. Menstruation can be debilitating, relieving, disappointing, or simply an inconvenient fact of life.

But why do humans menstruate, when most animals don’t? When you shake the tree of life, you find that only a handful of mammals aside from us – primates, a small number of bat species, and the elephant shrew – have opted for the monthly bleed.... Read more »

Blanks, A., & Brosens, J. (2013) Meaningful menstruation. BioEssays, 35(5), 412-412. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201300022  

  • June 17, 2013
  • 09:32 AM

No Sex Drive? There’s A Pill For That

by Alvin Lin in United Academics

In my mind, pills are like apps. Do you have a common problem to solve? There’s an app for that, as Apple has trademarked. Do you have some health related issue? There’s probably a pill for that. Blood pressure? Check. Cholesterol? Check. Social anxiety? Check. Erectile dysfunction? Check. Obesity? Check. Female libido? Oops! No check! But just wait! Big Pharma is working on that! As far back as January 2005, as published in the British Medical Journal, attempts have been made to develop a misnamed female Viagra.... Read more »

  • June 16, 2013
  • 06:04 AM

Short Bursts of Exercise Key to Feeling Full

by Fron Jackson Webb in United Academics

Short bouts of intermittent exercise throughout the day may be better than one vigorous workout in convincing your brain that you are full, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity.

The researchers, from the United States and Murdoch University, set out to find how the appetite-regulating hormone Peptide YY (PYY) fluctuates with intermittent or continuous exercise. The research team asked the 11 participants to do no exercise on day one, to do a one-hour morning exercise session on day two, and to do 12 five-minute bouts of exercise throughout the third day day. Blood was drawn every 15 minutes to assess hormones and the subjects were asked to rate their levels of hunger.... Read more »

  • June 14, 2013
  • 10:23 AM

5 Unusual Ways to Reduce Crime

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

For the past 70 years or so, crime has mainly been explained through socio-economic factors such as housing or level of education. Currently the focus has shifted more to neuroscience and biology – and the idea that a chemical imbalance might also cause someone to be more violent or prone to criminal behavior.... Read more »

Keizer, K., Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2008) The Spreading of Disorder. Science, 322(5908), 1681-1685. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161405  

  • June 13, 2013
  • 11:22 AM

Body Dysmorphic Disorder puts ugly in the brain of the beholder

by Ben Buchanan in United Academics

When people think of mental problems related to body image, often the first thing that comes to mind is the thin figure associated with anorexia. Body dysmorphic disorder is less well known, but has around five times the prevalence of anorexia (about 2% of the population), and a high level of psychological impairment. It’s a mental disorder where the main symptom is excessive fear of looking ugly or disfigured. Central to the diagnosis is the fact that the person actually looks normal.... Read more »

  • June 13, 2013
  • 09:40 AM

Scientists Discover How to Trigger the Fruit Growth Hormone

by Geetanjali Yadav in United Academics

If someone told you to put your rock hard green McIntosh apple with a banana as that would make it ripe, you sure would scoff a little. But, believe your ears and do that yourself. It’s an easy way to get that red juicy goodness without spending a single penny! It sounds like magic – but it’s pure science. A very recent study by scientists from the Salk institute for Biological Studies have published their finding in the online international journal eLIFE – stating that the plant hormone ethylene alone activates thousand of other genes in a plant.... Read more »

Katherine Noelani Chang, Shan Zhong, Matthew T Weirauch, Gary Hon, Mattia Pelizzola, Hai Li, Shao-shan Carol Huang, Robert J Schmitz, Mark A Urich, Dwight Kuo, Joseph R Nery, Hong Qiao, Ally Yang, Abdullah Jamali, Huaming Chen, Trey Ideker, Bing Ren, Ziv . (2013) Temporal transcriptional response to ethylene gas drives growth hormone cross-regulation in Arabidopsis . eLife. info:/

  • June 13, 2013
  • 07:47 AM

Stress Leaves Its Mark on Dad’s Sperm

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

For the first time, researchers have found that stress can leave an epigenetic mark on sperm, which then alters the offspring’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a part of the brain that deals with responding to stress. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The experiment was conducted with preadolescent and adult male mice, in which stress was induced – for example by confronting the mice with predator odor (fox urine) or foreign objects in their cages.

Their offspring, both male and female, turned out to have abnormally low reactivity to stress. Whenever the stress pathway is deregulated – this can be both an extreme high reactivity, as well as a very low activity – this means an organism cannot respond to changes in its environment. In people, this might cause stress-related mental disorders.... Read more »

  • June 12, 2013
  • 11:58 AM

New Method Images Single Molecules and Atoms

by Akshat Rathi in United Academics

The ultimate dream of nanotechnology is to be able to manipulate matter atom by atom. To do that, we first need to know what they look like. In what could be a major step in that direction, researchers have developed a method that can determine the shape of a single molecule and identify its constituent atoms.

The laws of nature limit what can be seen with the help of light alone. Only objects separated by more than half the wavelength of the light that illuminates it can be observed as separate objects. To overcome this limit, in 1928, Edward Hutchinson Synge came up with an idea of imaging things too small for the naked eye. The idea was to shine light on a small particle and study the scattering when reflected back, making the wavelength of incident light irrelevant.... Read more »

Zhang, R., Zhang, Y., Dong, Z., Jiang, S., Zhang, C., Chen, L., Zhang, L., Liao, Y., Aizpurua, J., Luo, Y.... (2013) Chemical mapping of a single molecule by plasmon-enhanced Raman scattering. Nature, 498(7452), 82-86. DOI: 10.1038/nature12151  

  • June 12, 2013
  • 06:16 AM

Social Media Use Linked to Narcissism

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

According to a new study published by researchers at the University of Michigan, social media might just be the perfect way to express our narcissistic tendencies. “Among young adult college students, we found that those who scored higher in certain types of narcissism posted more often on Twitter,” said Panek, leading author. ”But among middle-aged adults from the general population, narcissists posted more frequent status updates on Facebook.”

For the first experiment, 496 young college students (average age 19) were asked to answer some questions concerning their social media use. In addition, they took a personality assessment measuring different aspects of narcissism; exhibitionism, exploitativeness, superiority, authority and self-sufficiency.... Read more »

  • June 11, 2013
  • 08:37 AM

Mysterious Underwater Structure Discovered in Israel

by Anouk Vleugels in United Academics

Researchers stumbled upon the cone-shaped monument, that weighs about 60,000 ton, while executing geophysical research in the southern Sea of Galilee.

Expected is that the structure was built 6000 years ago. According to Prof. Shmulik Marco, who took part in the research, this is an impressive accomplishment since the stones had to be carried more than a mile – and be arranged according to a specific plan.... Read more »

Paz, Y., Moshe, R., Zvi, B., Shmuel, M., Tibor, G., & Nadel, D. (2013) A Submerged Monumental Structure in the Sea of Galilee, Israel. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 42(1), 189-193. DOI: 10.1111/1095-9270.12005  

  • June 10, 2013
  • 09:04 AM

Blood Test Sets Therapy for Advanced Cancer Patient

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

A recent paper published in Nature reports the employment of blood tests for cancer patients to capture circulating tumor DNA that is subsequently sequenced and analyzed, the goal being to identify mutations and characterize the tumor genomic profile.... Read more »

Murtaza, M., Dawson, S., Tsui, D., Gale, D., Forshew, T., Piskorz, A., Parkinson, C., Chin, S., Kingsbury, Z., Wong, A.... (2013) Non-invasive analysis of acquired resistance to cancer therapy by sequencing of plasma DNA. Nature, 497(7447), 108-112. DOI: 10.1038/nature12065  

Forshew, T., Murtaza, M., Parkinson, C., Gale, D., Tsui, D., Kaper, F., Dawson, S., Piskorz, A., Jimenez-Linan, M., Bentley, D.... (2012) Noninvasive Identification and Monitoring of Cancer Mutations by Targeted Deep Sequencing of Plasma DNA. Science Translational Medicine, 4(136), 136-136. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003726  

Leary, R., Sausen, M., Kinde, I., Papadopoulos, N., Carpten, J., Craig, D., O'Shaughnessy, J., Kinzler, K., Parmigiani, G., Vogelstein, B.... (2012) Detection of Chromosomal Alterations in the Circulation of Cancer Patients with Whole-Genome Sequencing. Science Translational Medicine, 4(162), 162-162. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004742  

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