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  • May 22, 2015
  • 03:11 PM
  • 12 views

Air pollution is causing your baby problems, but breastfeeding can help

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Aitana Lertxundi has conducted her research work within the framework of the INma (Childhood and Environment) programme led by Jesús Ibarluzea of the Department of Health of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community (region). The aim is to assess how exposure to environmental pollution during pregnancy affects health and also to examine the role of diet in physical and neurobehavioural development in infancy. The study focusses on the repercussions on motor and mental development during........ Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 15 views

Are infections making you stupid?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research shows that infections can impair your cognitive ability measured on an IQ scale. The study is the largest of its kind to date, and it shows a clear correlation between infection levels and impaired cognition. Anyone can suffer from an infection, for example in their stomach, urinary tract or skin. However, a new Danish study shows that a patient’s distress does not necessarily end once the infection has been treated.... Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 04:07 AM
  • 20 views

Clinical trials for rare diseases – finding and keeping patients

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

International Clinical Trial day (May 20th) celebrates the medical advances as a result of clinical trials. Clinical trials are essential to ensure drug safety and efficacy, and the recent increase in the development of orphan drugs has led to an increase in rare disease clinical trials. The nature of rare diseases creates specific challenges for clinical trial design and patient recruitment.... Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 02:24 AM
  • 20 views

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and autism: 2 year outcomes

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results provide evidence that gains from early intensive intervention are maintained 2 years later. Notably, core autism symptoms improved in the ESDM [Early Start Denver Model] group over the follow-up period relative to the COM [community-intervention-as-usual] group."Those were some of the conclusions reported in amongst the potentially very important results from Annette Estes and colleagues [1] looking at "the sustained effects of early intervention" followin........ Read more »

Annette Estes, Jeffrey Munson, Sally J. Rogers, Jessica Greenson, Jamie Winter, & Geraldine Dawson. (2015) Long-Term Outcomes of Early Intervention in 6-Year-Old Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. info:/10.1016/j.jaac.2015.04.005

  • May 21, 2015
  • 05:43 PM
  • 37 views

E-cigarettes don’t help smokers stop smoking (or smoke less)

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Electronic cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking or even smoke less. This conclusion – which further squashes hopes that e-cigarettes might enable America’s 42 million smokers to quit – comes from one of the largest studies of e-cigarette users to … Continue reading →... Read more »

Al-Delaimy WK, Myers MG, Leas EC, Strong DR, & Hofstetter CR. (2015) E-cigarette use in the past and quitting behavior in the future: a population-based study. American journal of public health, 105(6), 1213-9. PMID: 25880947  

  • May 21, 2015
  • 10:22 AM
  • 28 views

Social Contagion: When Fish Go with the Flow

by Bernadeta Dadonaite in The Question Gene

How contagious behaviour spreads in schooling fish... Read more »

Rosenthal SB, Twomey CR, Hartnett AT, Wu HS, & Couzin ID. (2015) Revealing the hidden networks of interaction in mobile animal groups allows prediction of complex behavioral contagion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(15), 4690-5. PMID: 25825752  

  • May 21, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 31 views

Respiratory illness and schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Schizophrenia is associated with impaired lung function and increased risk for pneumonia, COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and chronic bronchitis."That was the primary conclusion reached in the paper by Krista Partti and colleagues [1] who aimed to "compare the respiratory health of people with psychosis with that of the general population." Their findings, based on data from "a nationally representative sample of 8028 adult Finns" (Finns as in inhabitants of Finland) invo........ Read more »

Partti K, Vasankari T, Kanervisto M, Perälä J, Saarni SI, Jousilahti P, Lönnqvist J, & Suvisaari J. (2015) Lung function and respiratory diseases in people with psychosis: population-based study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25858177  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 01:48 PM
  • 31 views

Can we save the Golden-winged Warbler by burning the place down?

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

The endangered Golden-winged Warbler can be conserved by fire management.... Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 12:35 PM
  • 31 views

Syzygites megalocarpus has good taste in mushrooms

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Syzygites megalocarpus is a mycoparasite, a fungus that feeds on other fungi. It's not alone in this ability...... Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 10:50 AM
  • 41 views

battling superbugs the evolutionary way

by Greg Fish in weird things

We’re using far too many antibiotics. That has been the cry from the FDA and the WHO for the last several years as more and more antibiotic-resistant strains have been found after they had colonized or killed patients. Of course these bacteria aren’t completely immune to our arsenals of drugs, they’re just harder to kill with certain antibiotics or require different ones, but a rather small, yet unsettling number, have required doctors to use every last antibacterial weapon [...] ...... Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 10:18 AM
  • 33 views

Why Some Bugs Are Attracted to the Wrong Species

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



The squash bug mating orgies that biologist Christine Miller began noticing in gardens around Gainesville were nothing unusual. Dozens of insects were crowded together, the petite males along with the bulkier females, to search for partners. The unusual thing was that some males were copulating with females of the wrong species—apparently, they found them irresistible.

When Jen Hamel arrived at Miller's University of Florida lab to do her postdoctoral research, she took up the mystery o........ Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 09:34 AM
  • 32 views

Video Tip of the Week: NCBI Tree Viewer

by Mary in OpenHelix

The helpful folks at NCBI have been ramping up their outreach. I’ve been watching a lot of their webinars, and they are trying different styles. The more traditional ones that are about the length of a seminar, and lately shorter quick-hit types of things. Both of them are valuable. Some topics need a good foundational […]... Read more »

  • May 20, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 41 views

The Ugly Butterfly Gets The Girl

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

A current theory is that humans (and other animals) perceive symmetry as beauty and is desirable in a mate. Symmetric bodies and faces are correlated with strength, overall health, facial beauty, and dancing ability, but also with extramarital affairs. On the other hand, on butterfly thrives on ugliness. Asymmetric wings actually help males fly better during sexual competitions and gives them a reproductive advantage.... Read more »

Little, A., Paukner, A., Woodward, R., & Suomi, S. (2012) Facial asymmetry is negatively related to condition in female macaque monkeys. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66(9), 1311-1318. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-012-1386-4  

Fink, B., Weege, B., Manning, J., & Trivers, R. (2014) Body symmetry and physical strength in human males. American Journal of Human Biology, 26(5), 697-700. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22584  

Thomas F, Doyon J, Elguero E, Dujardin JP, Brodeur J, Roucher C, Robert V, Missé D, Raymond M, & Trape JF. (2015) Plasmodium infections and fluctuating asymmetry among children and teenagers from Senegal. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 97-101. PMID: 25725158  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 05:35 AM
  • 34 views

Further support for the Gradual Audiomotor Evolution (GAE) hypothesis?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Four chimpanzees born at the Primate Reserach Institute, Kyoto University recently participated in a finger-tapping experiment much like those that have been done for decades with humans (Repp, 2005). Two of them, Chloe and Cleo, showed signs of synchronization, according to a study that just came out in Scientific Reports.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • May 20, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 35 views

Severe obesity pre-pregnancy and offspring developmental outcome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children whose mothers were severely obese before pregnancy had increased risk for adverse developmental outcomes."That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Heejoo Jo and colleagues [1] based on results derived from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) "a US nationally distributed longitudinal study of maternal health and infant health and feeding practices." Said data included information on "maternal prepregnancy BMI [body mass index] and child psychosocia........ Read more »

  • May 19, 2015
  • 07:57 PM
  • 41 views

Sulcatone makes our scent distinctly human, and mosquitoes have figured this out

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

So, say you're a mosquito (um, yay?) and you've developed a taste for human blood...... Read more »

  • May 19, 2015
  • 03:04 PM
  • 39 views

On Snails and Shells

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

The evolution of shell characteristics in snails in simply amazing!... Read more »

  • May 19, 2015
  • 04:50 AM
  • 41 views

Social anxiety affecting autism intervention outcome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil" according to one definition. In other descriptions, words such as 'worry' and 'dread' are used (see here) describing how beyond the typical feelings of apprehension about a new situation for example, anxiety can turn into something altogether more serious and life-disrupting for some.There are various types of anxiety disorder (see here) to consider, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to focus on social anxiety disorder in the context of........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2015
  • 03:14 PM
  • 41 views

Batesian Snake Necklaces

by Jente Ottenburghs in Evolutionary Stories

Batesian Mimicry - where an edible species is protected from predation by resembling an inedible or dangerous species might lead to the origin of new species. This suggestion was tested by putting "snake necklaces" in the field...... Read more »

  • May 18, 2015
  • 06:26 AM
  • 56 views

‘Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink’ – Safe drinking water and Adequate sanitation are indispensable for eradicating Cholera

by Sarah Stephen in An ecological oratorio

What has Cholera to do with environment? Absolutely everything!  In this post, we look at why clean water and safe sanitation is essential for eradicating this dreadful disease from our planet. Access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation could eradicate cholera. (Image - Sam Stephen) Cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or liquids contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, elicits the same fear today, as it did in the past. Although cholera has aff........ Read more »

Miwanda B, Moore S, Muyembe JJ, Nguefack-Tsague G, Kabangwa IK, Ndjakani DY, Mutreja A, Thomson N, Thefenne H, Garnotel E.... (2015) Antimicrobial Drug Resistance of Vibrio cholerae, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Emerging infectious diseases, 21(5), 847-51. PMID: 25897570  

Waldman RJ, Mintz ED, & Papowitz HE. (2013) The cure for cholera--improving access to safe water and sanitation. The New England journal of medicine, 368(7), 592-4. PMID: 23301693  

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