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  • September 10, 2015
  • 06:00 AM
  • 594 views

Origin of ‘Spanish Armor,’ Said to Have Been Found in Texas Desert, Stumps Scientists

by Blake de Pastino in Western Digs

Two pieces of iron armor — reportedly first found in the desert of West Texas about 150 years ago — have recently been analyzed by scientists in Nebraska, where the artifacts have been sitting for decades in museum storage.... Read more »

  • September 7, 2015
  • 03:42 PM
  • 449 views

Tree of life study unveils inner workings of a cell

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A multinational team of scientists have sifted through cells of vastly different organisms, from amoebae to worms to mice to humans, to reveal how proteins fit together to build different cells and bodies. This tour de force of protein science, a result of a collaboration between seven research groups from three countries, led by Professor Andrew Emili from the University of Toronto’s Donnelly Centre, uncovered tens of thousands of new protein interactions, accounting for about a quarter of all estimated protein contacts in a cell.... Read more »

Wan, C., Borgeson, B., Phanse, S., Tu, F., Drew, K., Clark, G., Xiong, X., Kagan, O., Kwan, J., Bezginov, A.... (2015) Panorama of ancient metazoan macromolecular complexes. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14877  

  • September 6, 2015
  • 03:35 PM
  • 428 views

Guilting teens into exercise won’t increase activity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Just like attempts at influencing hairstyles or clothing can backfire, adults who try to guilt middle-schoolers into exercising won’t get them to be any more active. The study found students who don’t feel in control of their exercise choices or who feel pressured by adults to be more active typically aren’t.... Read more »

  • September 6, 2015
  • 06:00 AM
  • 411 views

A new year of bioanthro lab activities

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

One of my goals in teaching is to introduce students to how we come to know things in biological anthropology, and lab activities give students hands-on experience in using scientific approaches to address research questions. Biological anthropology (really, all biology) is about understanding variation, and I’ve created some labs for students to scrutinize biological variation within the classroom. In my Introduction class, the first aspect of […]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 03:03 PM
  • 505 views

The science of stereotyping: Challenging the validity of ‘gaydar’

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

“Gaydar” — the purported ability to infer whether people are gay or straight based on their appearance — seemed to get a scientific boost from a 2008 study that concluded people could accurately guess someone’s sexual orientation based on photographs of their faces. In a new paper researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison challenge what they call “the gaydar myth.” William Cox, an assistant scientist in the Department of Psychology and the lead author, says gaydar isn’t accurate and is actually a harmful form of stereotyping.... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 08:49 AM
  • 517 views

Living on the Edge: Bioarchaeology of Medieval Iceland

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

It is the first week of school here at Michigan State University, and not surprisingly, we’ve got super high temperatures and crazy humidity. It feels like you’re entering a steam […]... Read more »

G. ZOËGA AND K. A. MURPHY. (2015) Life on the Edge of the Arctic: The Bioarchaeology of the Keldudalur Cemetery in Skagafjörður, Iceland. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:23 PM
  • 480 views

Feeling blue and seeing blue: Sadness may impair color perception

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we’re down in the dumps and we often talk about “feeling blue” — new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor. The results of two studies indicate that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive color. Specifically, researchers found that participants who were induced to feel sad were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow axis than those who were led to feel amused or emotionally neutral.... Read more »

Thorstenson CA, Pazda AD, & Elliot AJ. (2015) Sadness Impairs Color Perception. Psychological science. PMID: 26307592  

  • August 30, 2015
  • 02:34 PM
  • 450 views

The alien within: Fetal cells influence maternal health during pregnancy (and long after)

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Parents go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their developing offspring. The favor, however, may not always be returned. Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health.... Read more »

  • August 29, 2015
  • 01:48 PM
  • 513 views

Confidence in parenting could help break cycle of abuse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

To understand how confidence in parenting may predict parenting behaviors in women who were abused as children, psychologists have found that mothers who experienced more types of maltreatment as children are more critical of their ability to parent successfully. Intervention programs for moms at-risk, therefore, should focus on bolstering mothers’ self-confidence–not just teach parenting skills, the researchers said.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2015
  • 01:45 PM
  • 447 views

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus’s direct effect on the host’s immune cells, but rather through the cells’ lethal influence on one another. HIV can either be spread through free-floating virus that directly infect the host immune cells or an infected cell can pass the virus to an uninfected cell.... Read more »

  • August 25, 2015
  • 06:58 PM
  • 512 views

Don’t know what “jurisdictional error” means? Some people’s future depends on it

by Laura Smith-Khan in Language on the Move

When people arrive in countries like Australia, seeking to be recognised as refugees and offered protection, it is obviously important that they are able to communicate their experiences and respond to any doubts the authorities may have about their claims. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Crock, M. . (2011) Immigration, Refugees and Forced Migration: Law, policy and practice in Australia. Annandale: The Federation Press. info:/

  • August 25, 2015
  • 01:07 PM
  • 463 views

Predicting who will murder his wife or his family

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Murderers who kill intimate partners and family members have a significantly different psychological and forensic profile from murderers who kill people they don’t know, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study that examined the demographics, psychiatric history and neuropsychology of these individuals.... Read more »

  • August 23, 2015
  • 06:46 PM
  • 622 views

Men And Women: Similarities Or Differences?

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

It's a question that many people struggle with and has great implications for the study of our species: are men and women more alike than different or more different than alike, and what differences exist between the sexes?... Read more »

Hyde, J. (2014) Gender Similarities and Differences. Annual Review of Psychology, 65(1), 373-398. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115057  

  • August 23, 2015
  • 01:49 PM
  • 513 views

Want a better relationship and a better sex life?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If men take up more of the child-care duties, splitting them equally with their female partners, heterosexual couples have more satisfaction with their relationships and their sex lives, according to new research by sociologists. The group used data from more than 900 heterosexual couples’ responses in the 2006 Marital Relationship Study (MARS).... Read more »

Daniel Fowler et al. (2015) Couples That Split Childcare Duties Have Higher Quality Relationships and Sex Lives . American Sociological Association. info:other/Link

  • August 23, 2015
  • 08:52 AM
  • 439 views

Easter Eggs from Raymond Dart

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

Some of the more colorful ideas and text in the anthropological literature are courtesy of Raymond Dart. In 1925, Dart identified the Taung fossil as a close relative of humans, and coined the scientific name, Australopithecus africanus. This was a pretty good idea, as Taung was the first in what is now a large collection of fossils attributed to this […]... Read more »

  • August 22, 2015
  • 12:49 PM
  • 473 views

Don’t touch that dial: TV’s subliminal influence on women’s perception of pregnancy and birth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In an era where popular culture is increasingly recognized for its impact on lay understanding of health and medicine, few scholars have looked at television’s powerful role in the creation of patient expectations, especially regarding pregnancy and birth.... Read more »

Danielle Bessett. (2015) As Seen on TV: Women's Views on Television Representations of Pregnancy and Birth. American Sociological Association’s 110th Annual Meeting. info:other/SES-0402165

  • August 20, 2015
  • 02:24 PM
  • 593 views

How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distant history of host-virus interactions. A study of antiviral gene sequences in African monkeys suggests that lentiviruses closely related to HIV have infected primates in Africa as far back as 16 million years.... Read more »

Kevin R. McCarthy, Andrea Kirmaier, Patrick Autissier, & Welkin E. Johnson. (2015) Evolutionary and Functional Analysis of Old World Primate TRIM5 Reveals the Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses and Convergent Evolution Targeting a Conserved Capsid Interface. PLOS Pathogens. info:/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005085

  • August 20, 2015
  • 02:01 PM
  • 517 views

‘Memory region’ of the brain also involved in conflict resolution

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The hippocampus in the brain’s temporal lobe is responsible for more than just long-term memory. Researchers have for the first time demonstrated that it is also involved in quick and successful conflict resolution.... Read more »

C.R. Oehrn, C. Baumann, J. Fell, H. Lee, H. Kessler, U. Habel, S. Hanslmayr, & N. Axmacher. (2015) Human hippocampal dynamics during response conflict. Current Biology. info:/10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.032

  • August 20, 2015
  • 07:32 AM
  • 553 views

The Myth of Beer Goggles?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new study casts doubt on the idea that alcohol causes people to seem more attractive - the famous "beer goggles" effect.



Psychologists Olivia Maynard and colleauges, of Bristol, UK, conducted an unusual "real world" experiment.  Rather than doing their testing in the laboratory, they went into three Bristol pubs in the evening (5-11 pm) and recruited volunteers on the spot. With a total sample size of 311, it was a very large sample.

Each participant was breathalyzed to estimate thei... Read more »

  • August 19, 2015
  • 03:43 PM
  • 601 views

Happiness spreads, but depression isn’t contagious

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Having friends who suffer from depression doesn’t affect the mental health of others, according to research. The team found that having friends can help teenagers recover from depression or even avoid becoming depressed in the first instance. The findings are the result of a study of the way teenagers in a group of US high schools influenced each others’ mood. The academics used a mathematical model to establish if depression spreads from friend to friend.... Read more »

E. M. Hill, F. E. Griffiths, & T. House. (2015) Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2015.1180

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