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  • May 18, 2016
  • 05:20 PM
  • 142 views

Your friends have more friends than you do

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

No matter how smart and funny you think you are, those you follow on Twitter really do have a larger following than you. And the same holds true for Facebook. But there is no reason to feel badly about any of this. According to the research, it is all due to the inherently hierarchical nature of social media networks, where, in the social hierarchy of connections, people mostly either follow up or across; they rarely follow down.

... Read more »

  • May 8, 2016
  • 03:15 PM
  • 154 views

Digital media may be changing how you think

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tablet and laptop users beware. Using digital platforms such as tablets and laptops for reading may make you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, according to a new study. The findings serve as another wake-up call to how digital media may be affecting our likelihood of using abstract thought.

... Read more »

  • May 6, 2016
  • 02:35 PM
  • 184 views

Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules. The study used a free smartphone app that reduces jetlag to gather robust sleep data from thousands of people in 100 nations. The researchers examined how age, gender, amount of light and home country affect the amount of shut-eye people around the globe get, when they go to bed, and when they wake up.

... Read more »

Olivia J. Walch, Amy Cochran, & Daniel B. Forger. (2016) A global quantification of “normal” sleep schedules using smartphone data . Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1501705

  • April 29, 2016
  • 04:10 PM
  • 215 views

Don’t retweet if you want to remember

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The whole of human intelligence, right at your fingertips. Sure it might not make the layman an engineer or physicist, but if we want to learn about a particular topic the internet can give us that information. But you better hold on tight before you lose it. New research finds retweeting or otherwise sharing information creates a “cognitive overload” that interferes with learning and retaining what you’ve just seen.

... Read more »

  • April 8, 2016
  • 10:29 AM
  • 246 views

The Real Cost of Sequencing

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

The real cost of sequencing is as hard to pin down as a sumo wrestler. Working in a large-scale sequencing laboratory offers an interesting perspective on the duality of the so-called “cost per genome.” On one hand, we see certain equipment manufacturers and many people in the media tossing around claims that sequencing a genome […]... Read more »

Muir P, Li S, Lou S, Wang D, Spakowicz DJ, Salichos L, Zhang J, Weinstock GM, Isaacs F, Rozowsky J.... (2016) The real cost of sequencing: scaling computation to keep pace with data generation. Genome biology, 17(1), 53. PMID: 27009100  

  • April 7, 2016
  • 05:19 PM
  • 254 views

Manufacturing human tissue from textiles

by Dr.Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Until we can figure out our lack of regenerating our bodies, or can convince more people to donate organs, we are at mercy of either luck or technology. Bio 3-D printing offers hope that we can print personalized organs as need and rejection free. But the technology relies almost solely with tissue engineers, there job is to find processes using novel bio-materials seeded with stem cells to grow and replace missing tissues.

... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 04:40 PM
  • 286 views

Organic nanowires destroy the competition

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Last month, we spoke of our vision of the future of humanity here at the lab. It makes sense that humanity would one-day step away from the static, non-living computer constructs we have designed. Moving us instead towards an organic alternative, one that can be readily repaired, replaced, or changed. While we cannot pretend to know what the future may hold, a new discovery helps bolster the stance we presented.

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Lampa-Pastirk, S., Veazey, J., Walsh, K., Feliciano, G., Steidl, R., Tessmer, S., & Reguera, G. (2016) Thermally activated charge transport in microbial protein nanowires. Scientific Reports, 23517. DOI: 10.1038/srep23517  

  • March 18, 2016
  • 02:36 PM
  • 306 views

Using precision medicine to define the genetics of autoimmune disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Demonstrating the potential of precision medicine, an international study used next-generation DNA sequencing technology to identify more than 1,000 gene variants that affect susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Precision medicine is an emerging field that aims to deliver highly personalized health care by understanding how individual differences in genetics, environment, and lifestyle impact health and disease.

... Read more »

Raj, P., Rai, E., Song, R., Khan, S., Wakeland, B., Viswanathan, K., Arana, C., Liang, C., Zhang, B., Dozmorov, I.... (2016) Regulatory polymorphisms modulate the expression of HLA class II molecules and promote autoimmunity. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.12089  

  • March 17, 2016
  • 03:47 PM
  • 304 views

Preventing Alzheimer’s, with an implant

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer's has been a losing battle, sure we can fight back with drugs, but that still just prolongs the inevitable. With that said we can all hope this research pans out, to something meaningful. In a cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's disease, EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule that can turn the patient's immune system against the disease. Even better, the implant is subdural, not intracranial.

... Read more »

  • March 13, 2016
  • 03:40 PM
  • 276 views

New learning procedure for neural networks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rustling leaves, a creaking branch: To a mouse, these sensory impressions may, at first, seem harmless — but not if a cat suddenly bursts out of the bush. If so, they were clues of impending life-threatening danger. Researcher Robert Gütig has now found how the brain can link sensory perceptions to events occurring after a delay.

... Read more »

  • March 9, 2016
  • 09:41 AM
  • 321 views

Video Tip of the Week: Introduction to Biocuration and the career path

by Mary in OpenHelix

At OpenHelix, we’ve long sung the praises of curators. Some of us have been curators and worked with curation and database development teams. All of us have relied on quality information in the databases for research and teaching. But I think there are a lot of people who don’t understand the value of quality curation, how […]... Read more »

COMMITTEE ON FUTURE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR, & DIGITAL CURATION. (2015) PREPARING THE WORKFORCE FOR DIGITAL CURATION. National Academies Press. info:/10.17226/18590

Holliday, G., Bairoch, A., Bagos, P., Chatonnet, A., Craik, D., Finn, R., Henrissat, B., Landsman, D., Manning, G., Nagano, N.... (2015) Key challenges for the creation and maintenance of specialist protein resources. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 83(6), 1005-1013. DOI: 10.1002/prot.24803  

  • March 8, 2016
  • 06:47 AM
  • 281 views

How Einstein Could Still Save the Earth

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Gravitational waves, detected by LIGO, might have implications for finding black holes.... Read more »

  • March 6, 2016
  • 07:46 AM
  • 360 views

No, We Can't "Upload Knowledge To Your Brain"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



According to a spectacularly misleading article in the Telegraph: Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'
Feeding knowledge directly into your brain, just like in sci-fi classic The Matrix, could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, scientists believe. Researchers claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter amount of time...

Researchers from HRL Laboratories, based in Cali... Read more »

  • March 3, 2016
  • 03:10 PM
  • 323 views

Your brain and the ‘neuronal big bang’

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Our brain is home to different types of neurons, each with their own genetic signature that defines their function. These neurons are derived from progenitor cells, which are specialized stem cells that have the ability to divide to give rise to neurons. Neuroscientists have shed light on the mechanisms that allow progenitors to generate neurons.

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Ludovic Telley, Subashika Govindan, Julien Prados, Isabelle Stevant, Serge Nef, Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Alexandre Dayer, & Denis Jabaudon. (2016) Sequential transcriptional waves direct the differentiation of newborn neurons in the mouse neocortex. Science. info:/10.1126/science.aad8361

  • February 29, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 335 views

From Limping to Leaping

by Aurametrix team in Environmental health

"Anno bisesto, anno funesto” (leap year, gloomy year), say Italians. “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year” agrees an old Scottish proverb. "Високосный год "Урожай" соберет" (leap year will gather the "Harvest") warns a Russian saying implying that there will be plenty of disasters - calamities, catastrophes and cataclysms. But usually there are not.​ Leap years tend to be good for stocks (with the exception of the recent crashes in 2000 and 2008), al........ Read more »

Neumann, P. (1992) Leap-year problems. Communications of the ACM, 35(6), 162. DOI: 10.1145/129888.129900  

  • February 28, 2016
  • 09:42 PM
  • 272 views

Use of “Smart Cup” and phone camera in diagnosis of pathogens

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

A newly developed “Smart Cup” can detect disease-causing agents such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) with the help of smartphone camera.

Published in:

Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Study Further:

Many novel ways of detecting infectious diseases have been developed. Among those methods are nucleic-acid amplification-based diagnostics that are sensitive, rapid, and specific on one side, but expensive, and requiring extensive procedure and trained p........ Read more »

Liao, S., Peng, J., Mauk, M., Awasthi, S., Song, J., Friedman, H., Bau, H., & Liu, C. (2016) Smart cup: A minimally-instrumented, smartphone-based point-of-care molecular diagnostic device. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 232-238. DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2016.01.073  

  • February 28, 2016
  • 05:00 PM
  • 316 views

Matrix Unloaded: How you can fly a plane using expert-pilot brainwave patterns

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

“I know kung fu,” movie buffs might remember the remember the quote from “The Matrix.” We can all probably agree that being able to download knowledge “on tap” would be a boon to humanity. It is a shame it is just a movie… right? While that may be the case, it is just for now. That is because researchers have discovered that low-current electrical brain stimulation can modulate the learning of complex real-world skills.

... Read more »

  • February 27, 2016
  • 04:39 PM
  • 375 views

Technology and human biology: The singularity may not be so singular

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Life literally inside the world wide web, it’s an interesting idea. One that has tantalized sci-fi fans since before the framework for the internet was even finished. While the idea of a seemingly eternal disembodied life through the unfiltered and raw computer consciousness that we all share a connection with, maybe we are shooting for a goal that isn’t really possible — maybe we are asking the wrong questions.

... Read more »

Nicolau, D., Lard, M., Korten, T., van Delft, F., Persson, M., Bengtsson, E., Månsson, A., Diez, S., Linke, H., & Nicolau, D. (2016) Parallel computation with molecular-motor-propelled agents in nanofabricated networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201510825. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1510825113  

Morsella, E., Godwin, C., Jantz, T., Krieger, S., & Gazzaley, A. (2015) Homing in on Consciousness in the Nervous System: An Action-Based Synthesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1-106. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X15000643  

  • February 24, 2016
  • 09:42 AM
  • 321 views

Video Tip of the Week: ContentMine, with a #Zika example

by Mary in OpenHelix

For quite a while I’ve been watching the development of ContentMine. There have been a number of different ways to text-mine the scientific literature over the years. Most of the efforts I’m familiar with aim at a specific subset of the literature. This could be species-specific mining, topic-specific (such as interaction data, or a field […]... Read more »

  • February 15, 2016
  • 03:12 PM
  • 435 views

Scientists prove feasibility of ‘printing’ replacement tissue

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using a sophisticated, custom-designed 3D printer, regenerative medicine scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proved that it is feasible to print living tissue structures to replace injured or diseased tissue in patients. Scientists said they printed ear, bone and muscle structures. When implanted in animals, the structures matured into functional tissue and developed a system of blood vessels.

... Read more »

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