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  • July 4, 2014
  • 10:48 AM

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

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 »

  • June 27, 2014
  • 03:03 PM

Constructed Wetlands: A promising system

by Ruth Garcia de la Calle in ADVOCATE Marie Curie Network

Pathways of ammonium (NH4+) removal using the stable isotope approach in constructed wetlands (CWs)... Read more »

  • June 22, 2014
  • 10:23 AM

The Love Song of Philo T. Farnsworth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Philo Farnsworth, if the name sounds vaguely familiar than you might just be a Futurama watcher. If you don't watch and know who I'm talking about or even better are a fan then, "YAY!" and for those of you who don't know, don't sweat it you're not alone. One of the forgotten greats, Farnsworth should be a household name, namely because one of his biggest inventions is in practically every home.... Read more »

The associated press. (2006) Elma Gardner Farnsworth, 98, Who Helped Husband Develop TV, Dies. The New York Times. info:/

Edwin Cartlidge. (2007) The Secrete way of Amateur Fusion. Physics World. info:/

  • June 19, 2014
  • 12:30 AM

Join The Thrill, Lift The FIFA World Cup Together !

by Shyamali Sharma in Workout Trends

A spoiled weekend… My friend asked me to come over to her place last weekend and texted me, “ I am all alone and bored to death, please come over!” It was already half past eight in the evening but I decided to go. On my way to her place, my idea of chilling was […]
The post Join The Thrill, Lift The FIFA World Cup Together ! appeared first on .
... Read more »

  • June 18, 2014
  • 11:00 AM

Elsevier et al’s pricing douchebaggery exposed

by Juan Nunez-Iglesias in I Love Symposia!

Ted Bergstrom and a few colleagues have just come out with an epic paper in which they reveal how much for-profit academic publishing companies charge university libraries, numbers that had previously been kept secret. The paper is ostensibly in the field of economics, but it could be more accurately described as “sticking-it-to-the-man-ology”.... Read more »

Bergstrom, T., Courant, P., McAfee, R., & Williams, M. (2014) Evaluating big deal journal bundles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1403006111  

  • June 16, 2014
  • 05:51 AM

Disturbing facts about sunscreen

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

What you should know about sun cream ingredients.
... Read more »

  • June 8, 2014
  • 01:22 AM

What the pug is going on?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Julie,thanks for that awesome list of canine-related citizen science projects that anyone can sink their teeth into. I have a question for you: What do you see when a pug comes into your field of vision?I'm asking you because (at the risk of inciting wrath of many) - honestly? I'm really bamboozled by some pedigree breeds and their popularity with so many people. How I feelI'm not hating on pugs or pedigree dogs, and I don't mean any offence to people who hold their love of pugs close to their hearts. I really don't. I appreciate some people are very passionate about breeding certain kinds of dogs. I don't mean them disrespect. I think I just see dogs differently to them.Pugs do make an excellent example to lay on the table for discussion when we consider inherited health and welfare issues in dog breeds. We could just as easily choose to look at any other breed where physical characteristics have been strongly selected for, like the Dalmatian, Great Dane, British Bulldog, Basset Hound, Dachshund, German Shepherd, Shar Pei, Pekingese, Neapolitan Mastiff... I could go on... but let's take the Pug as a case study today.Flickr/pugSo tell me - what do you see?Flickr/HelenMcDonaldI see a companion dog who can't really fit into the body we've given it. And by 'the body we've given it', I mean that through successive generations of human-dictated breeding that selects for an increasingly shortened muzzle (flat face), round head, big eyes, curly tail and rolls of skin, we've changed the face and body of pugs from this...Pug circa 1890 (source) this. I'll grant you this is an extreme example, but by golly, the fact that we've produced a dog lacking a defined muzzle like this makes me worry for the health and welfare of the dog. This dog really has no discernible nose or muzzle: Dogs should not have a concave face (source)Does it matter? Well, if you DON'T want a dog that can breathe effectively, maybe not. The (in)ability to breatheAlthough of course, it kind of makes for a sucky life for the dog. Not being able to breathe or moderate their temperature easily. I don't think many people in chronic respiratory distress report it feeling great. I don't think it's unreasonable to extrapolate that it causes dogs similar discomfort. The compromised breathing of these dogs isn't (as the tags on YouTube might lead some to believe) funny, nor ... Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 04:54 AM

Effects of bullying last into adulthood

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Recent studies reveal that bullied children are at risk for chronic inflammation and illness in adult life.
... Read more »

Copeland, W., Wolke, D., Lereya, S., Shanahan, L., Worthman, C., & Costello, E. (2014) Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(21), 7570-7575. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1323641111  

  • May 30, 2014
  • 12:30 AM

8 Mudras (hand gestures) in Yoga and Meditation

by Mansi Goel in Workout Trends

If you have visited India, New Delhi – the capital city precisely, you must have noticed the giant, metallic hand gestures mounted on the walls of the terminal. They are beautiful, isn’t it? I was one of the few lucky ones who got to visit the work in progress, but let me tell you, the […]
The post 8 Mudras (hand gestures) in Yoga and Meditation appeared first on .
... Read more »

Dibble SL, Chapman J, Mack KA, & Shih AS. (2000) Acupressure for nausea: results of a pilot study. Oncology nursing forum, 27(1), 41-7. PMID: 10660922  

Hu S, Stritzel R, Chandler A, & Stern RM. (1995) P6 acupressure reduces symptoms of vection-induced motion sickness. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine, 66(7), 631-4. PMID: 7575310  

Singh BB, Wu WS, Hwang SH, Khorsan R, Der-Martirosian C, Vinjamury SP, Wang CN, & Lin SY. (2006) Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 12(2), 34-41. PMID: 16541995  

  • May 29, 2014
  • 06:16 AM

Think Before You Speak: The Mental Process

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

“The erroneous theory is: to speak is to understand. Tell that to Stephen Hawking” - Speech is one of the quickest and most efficient methods of communication, but not as easy for everyone to understand.... Read more »

Houde, J., & Nagarajan, S. (2011) Speech Production as State Feedback Control. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00082  

Uecker, M., Zhang, S., Voit, D., Karaus, A., Merboldt, K., & Frahm, J. (2010) Real-time MRI at a resolution of 20 ms. NMR in Biomedicine, 23(8), 986-994. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1585  

  • May 23, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

4 Reasons Why Garlic Truly IS Awesome

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

(1) It is more effective than antibiotics, and it works in a fraction of the time, (2) It can cure all sorts of warts caused by HPV, (3) It has been proven to combat malaria and cancer, and (4) It puts an end to brain cancers with no side-effects.... Read more »

  • May 21, 2014
  • 07:37 PM

Preventing dog bites when you don't have a hero cat

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

(source)Hey Julie! So much going on I need to take three deep breaths to calm down! Firstly - we have a winner! Actually - thanks to the awesome crew at SPARCS, we have two! Very excited to meet Marsha P and Kristi M at #SPARCS2014 and want to thank all the excellent people who responded to our giveaway shoutout on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. We hope those of your who weren't successful will consider still coming along or joining us on the livestream broadcast. Secondly - I loved learning about the differences in UK and US shelter workers perceptions of pit bulls and all the associated bits and pieces that went along with that in our latest guest post by Dr Christy Hoffman. Really, really interesting research and I look forward to the next piece of the puzzle (aka 'new science') in that area.Thirdly - it's dog bite prevention week in the USA right now! We can't all own Tara the Hero Cat (and to be fair, as much as she is worthy of her notoriety and 20million+ hits on the viral video showcasing her ninja skills, she didn't actually prevent the bite - although I'm pretty confident she helped prevent it being a whole lot worse). If you somehow missed what on earth I'm talking about - check out this clip of amazing Tara (but a warning, it does show security camera footage of a child being attacked by a dog and the subsequent wounds): Which brings us back to Dog Bite Prevention Week. We don't have a week like this in Australia, so I did some web trawling to check out what you guys have going on over there.  The AVMA have put up a whole lot of great information and resources about dog bite prevention, including this neat summary infographic: I was really pleased to see this analysis of information about the role of breed in dog bite risk and prevention, which reminded me of this piece on The Conversation by researcher Dr Rachel Casey from Bristol University in the UK, who has been part of a team investigating aggressive behaviour in dogs. The research highlights similarities across Australia, the UK and the US with most serious dog bites occurring to children by a known dog in a familiar area without direct adult supervision at the time of the attack. But of course - as Hero Cat Tara has shown us this week, not all dogs stick to these trends. It seems that there are many commonalities to serious dog bites that we can all be aware of to help reduce the risk, given that any dog can bite: Supervise children <14yo around dogs, even known dogsDon't try to pat a dog you don't know, even if it is on the other side of a fenceMake sure your dog is well socialised and trained in basic commandsKeep your dog healthyTeach your children to be mindful and careful of their actions around dogs, especially when the dog is tied up, eating or sleeping... Read more »

  • May 21, 2014
  • 05:29 AM

Electrical ‘brain hacking’: the new caffeine fix?

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

The company Labs has recently released a commercial tDCS headset directed towards video-gamers. The electrodes are placed on the gamer’s forehead so that the prefrontal cortex is targeted with 1-2 milliamps of current for 5-40 minutes. It improves performance, shows research. But is it really healthy?... Read more »

  • May 20, 2014
  • 07:23 AM

Finally Solved: Why Zebra’s Wear Black And White Stripes

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

The origin of zebra stripes has long been a mystery: in over a century, scientists developed various hypotheses. Social factors, cooling mechanisms and camouflage against predators, were proposed as possible explanations. However, no striking evidence could support one particular theory, so the black and white striping in zebra was believed to remain a grey area.... Read more »

Caro, T., Izzo, A., Reiner, R., Walker, H., & Stankowich, T. (2014) The function of zebra stripes. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4535  

  • May 19, 2014
  • 08:35 AM

by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

Growth of biomedical research simultaneously hinders and advances its development.

This week brought to the forefront two important pieces of news in the field of biomedical research. Bad news first – the future of biomedical research looks bleak if things are not going to change. Then the good news – depending on your views on science, this second bit could be either head-scratching or eye opening: Scientists in the Scripps Research Institute, following years of research, have been able to create a synthetic organism with an “artificial DNA”.... Read more »

Alberts B, Kirschner MW, Tilghman S, & Varmus H. (2014) Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(16), 5773-7. PMID: 24733905  

Malyshev DA, Dhami K, Lavergne T, Chen T, Dai N, Foster JM, Corrêa IR Jr, & Romesberg FE. (2014) A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Nature, 509(7500), 385-8. PMID: 24805238  

  • May 15, 2014
  • 05:39 AM

The Dead Sea could save lives

by Q Dragon in United Academics

Research reveals that fungus from the Dead Sea can address environmental challenges.... Read more »

Kis-Papo, T., Weig, A., Riley, R., Peršoh, D., Salamov, A., Sun, H., Lipzen, A., Wasser, S., Rambold, G., Grigoriev, I.... (2014) Genomic adaptations of the halophilic Dead Sea filamentous fungus Eurotium rubrum. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4745  

  • May 5, 2014
  • 09:01 PM

Isn't it a Pitty? USA & UK shelter worker differences in Pit Bull identification

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Julie and Mia, Guess what? We have something in common! Do You Believe in Dog? started as a result of you two meeting at a conference, and my latest publication also resulted from a conference-inspired, long-distance collaboration. Dr. Carri Westgarth and I met at the International Society for Anthrozoology meeting in England in 2012. We quickly realized we share both personal and professional interests in dogs. During one of our chats, I showed Carri pictures of dogs I’d worked with in a US shelter. As I flipped through the pictures, I noted out loud that many were pit bulls, and Carri responded, “We wouldn’t call most of those dogs pit bulls here in the UK.” Flickr/denial_landThis conversation motivated us to conduct a study investigating differences between which dogs shelter workers in the US and UK consider pit bulls. Following the conference, Carri and I collected pictures of shelter dogs and designed a survey to learn more about shelters’ intake policies and assess how shelter workers determine breed identity. We wanted survey participants to look at pictures of shelter dogs and then tell us what breed they thought the dog was and which characteristics led them to their conclusion. Then, we had participants go through the pictures a second time and tell us whether or not they felt each dog was a pit bull. One of the hardest parts of this project was narrowing down the pictures to just 20. We would have loved to have included more but didn’t want to make our survey so long that people became frustrated and quit before finishing. Our final set of pictures included 11 bull breeds. Twelve of the dogs were from the US, and the remaining 8 were from the UK.Some of the dogs used in our survey (excerpt from publication)We launched the survey at the end of 2012 and recruited participants via social media and an e-mail campaign directed at shelters. We ended up with responses from 416 US participants and 54 UK participants.Eleven percent of US participants reported working in shelters that are impacted by Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Although all UK shelters are impacted by BSL due to the Dangerous Dog Act, the survey results indicated that not all UK shelter workers were aware of this. That surprised us!Flickr/hand-nor-gloveWe were even more surprised by participants’ thoughts regarding which dogs were pit bulls. Over half of US participants considered 7 of the 20 dogs to be pit bulls, whereas over half of UK participants considered only 1 of the dogs to be a pit bull. Furthermore, US participants were significantly more likely than UK participants to consider 12 of the dogs to be pit bulls.Flickr/actionkat13When we provided participants with a list of 10 bull breed and Mastiff breed names and asked if they considered any of these breeds to be pit bulls, US participants were more likely than UK participants to say that 6 of the breeds were. The biggest discrepancy between US and UK participants’ responses was regarding the Staffordshire bull terrier. Two percent of UK participants considered this breed to be a pit bull, whereas 69% of US participants did!Carri and I were astonished by how much UK and US shelter workers’ perceptions of what a pit bull looks like differed. We also were surprised by how much disagreement there was amongst shelter workers within our respective countries. We thought about how many times we have seen news reports that identify aggressive dogs as "pit bulls" and how infrequently pictures of the impounded dogs accompany these articles. It made us wonder how much of the pit bull’s reputation is affected by dogs being identified as pit bulls in one location, even though they may not be considered pit bulls elsewhere.We tried to figure out why there is so much disagreement regarding what a pit bull dog is and concluded it may in part be because the American Kennel Club and the UK’s Kennel Club do not have breed standards for the pit bull or American pit bull terrier (although the United Kennel Club does!). According to the UK’s Dangerous Dog Act, a pit bull dog is one that meets the physical features described for pit bulls in a 1977 issue of the American periodical Pit Bull Gazette. American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers fall under the UK’s definition of a pit bull. Notably, Staffordshire bull terriers are not classified as pit bull dogs in the UK, although as our results showed, they tend to be considered pit bulls in the US.... Read more »

  • April 28, 2014
  • 10:24 AM

The Mystery of Language Evolution

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Hauser, et al. have a co-authored article on The Mystery of Language Evolution. It’s a review of current directions in the field with the basic message that we don’t yet understand enough for empirical evidence from animal studies, archaeology, palaeontology, genetics or modelling to inform theories of language evolution. Here I summarise the paper and offer some criticisms.... Read more »

Marc D. Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert C. Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky, & Richard Lewontin. (2014) The mystery of language evolution. Frontiers in Psychology. info:/

  • April 28, 2014
  • 08:09 AM

Brewing New Futures: The Concoction Of Urban Laboratories

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Urban laboratories can serve as new places for knowledge production and direct application with the goal of making cities more economically viable, socially robust and environmentally friendly.... Read more »

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