Yes, I know. Another post on the 'day of rest' but I promise you that this will not become a habit. The reason: the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues  published in the premier journal Pediatrics. The authors describe a case report of a young child with autism who is observed to have shown improvement in some of the core symptoms of autism following supplementation with the [sunshine] vitamin/hormone of the hour: vitamin D. Further reporting on the paper can be seen here.Altho........ Read more »
Feiyong Jia, Bing Wang, Ling Shan, Zhida Xu, Wouter G. Staal, & Lin Du. (2014) Core Symptoms of Autism Improved After Vitamin D Supplementation. Pediatrics. info:/doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2121
Think you know what causes depression? Well unfortunately scientists don’t have the exact answer, surprised? That’s not the only problem, there is an ever growing concern that we live in an over medicated society and a newly released study doesn’t paint a better picture. About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants. However little is known about how early exposure to these medic........ Read more »
Altieri SC, Yang H, O'Brien HJ, Redwine HM, Senturk D, Hensler JG, & Andrews AM. (2014) Perinatal vs. Genetic Programming of Serotonin States Associated with Anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 25523893
What happens when scientists publish papers that aren't meant to be taken seriously? Is ironic, satirical and joke science all in good fun, or can it be dangerous?
This is the question asked by Drexel University researchers Maryam Ronagh and Lawrence Souder in a new paper is called The Ethics of Ironic Science in Its Search for Spoof.
The British BMJ journal is known for an annual Christmas special issue filled with unusual articles. For example, two years ago they explored the questio... Read more »
Ronagh M, & Souder L. (2014) The Ethics of Ironic Science in Its Search for Spoof. Science and engineering ethics. PMID: 25510233
"The relationship between JH/HDCT [joint hypermobility / heritable disorders of connective tissue] and mental disorders merits further attention in order to improve current knowledge and clarify a possible common etiology."There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing.That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Carolina Baeza-Velasco and colleagues  looking at the possibility of some interesting connections, outside of just physical presentation, when it come........ Read more »
Baeza-Velasco C, Pailhez G, Bulbena A, & Baghdadli A. (2014) Joint hypermobility and the heritable disorders of connective tissue: clinical and empirical evidence of links with psychiatry. General hospital psychiatry. PMID: 25459977
The pituitary gland (in red). Image courtesy of Life Science Databases (LSDB).
Where is the pituitary gland?The pituitary gland is a small (about the size of a pea) endocrine gland that extends from the bottom of the hypothalamus. It is divided into two lobes in humans, the anterior pituitary and posterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary does not have direct neural connections to the hypothalamus, but is able to communicate with it through a system of blo........ Read more »
You might not want the dreaded tube socks in your Christmas stocking this year, but you do appreciate the actual tubes that your body depends on in just about every organ system. A recent paper in PLOS Biology describes tube formation in the fly renal system and the signals that regulate it. Tubes generally start as buds that dramatically elongate during development, but the cell rearrangements that occur during tubulogenesis are not completely understood. Saxena and colleagues recently used th........ Read more »
Saxena, A., Denholm, B., Bunt, S., Bischoff, M., VijayRaghavan, K., & Skaer, H. (2014) Epidermal Growth Factor Signalling Controls Myosin II Planar Polarity to Orchestrate Convergent Extension Movements during Drosophila Tubulogenesis. PLoS Biology, 12(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002013
Thanks to the internet age we have lost touch with the fact that there is a human out there reading these words. Because of this, the golden rule –treat others the way you want to be treated — went out the window. Making fun of “fat” people now seems to be a internet hobby and that insensitivity can (and does) bleed over into “normal” non-internet life. Now a new study shows that women whose loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more pounds, which is probably no........ Read more »
LOGEL, C., STINSON, D., GUNN, G., WOOD, J., HOLMES, J., & CAMERON, J. (2014) A little acceptance is good for your health: Interpersonal messages and weight change over time. Personal Relationships, 21(4), 583-598. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12050
What are the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the textures that you associate with Christmas? Perhaps it is Christmas trees with their lovely green shape, color and wonderful pine smell. Maybe it’s the smells of cooking, the savory smells of turkey or the sweet smell of warm cookies. Or what about all of the cozy feelings you get with big sweaters or a roaring fire? Did you know that there is a lot of chemistry that goes into all of the senses we associate with this holiday?I was browsing t........ Read more »
Even a brilliant dog may not be able to count as high as the number of feet she has. In a cheese cube counting challenge, dogs struggled to prove they have any number sense at all. Embarrassingly for the dogs, some wolves took the exact same test and passed it. This may be a hint about what dogs lost when they moved to a cushy life of domestication.
At the Wolf Science Center in Austria, Friederike Range and her colleagues raise both wolves and dogs by hand, then train them to take part i........ Read more »
Range F, Jenikejew J, Schröder I, & Virányi Z. (2014) Difference in quantity discrimination in dogs and wolves. Frontiers in psychology, 1299. PMID: 25477834
If you should ever get this question, the answer is rather short: “according to recent findings, birds are descended from maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs.” Makes sense, right?... Read more »
Xu, X., Zhou, Z., Dudley, R., Mackem, S., Chuong, C., Erickson, G., & Varricchio, D. (2014) An integrative approach to understanding bird origins. Science, 346(6215), 1253293-1253293. DOI: 10.1126/science.1253293
A regular theme here at Neuroskeptic is the worrying issue of head movement during brain scans. We've seen that motion can alter measures of functional and structural connectivity, and that common approaches to dealing with this problem may be inadequate.
Now a new study reveals that even measures of the gross structure of the brain can be biased by excessive motion: Head motion during MRI acquisition reduces gray matter volume and thickness estimates.
Harvard neurologists Martin Reuter ... Read more »
Reuter M, Tisdall MD, Qureshi A, Buckner RL, van der Kouwe AJ, & Fischl B. (2014) Head motion during MRI acquisition reduces gray matter volume and thickness estimates. NeuroImage, 107-115. PMID: 25498430
Did you know that fruit flies sleep? There are actually a lot of similarities between sleep in fruit flies and sleep in humans and other mammals. For example… Image modified from Colwell, 2007 Like us, fruit flies get most of their sleep at night, and they also have an afternoon slump (although unlike us, they […]... Read more »
Potdar Sheetal. (2013) Lessons From Sleeping Flies: Insights from Drosophila melanogaster on the Neuronal Circuitry and Importance of Sleep . Journal of Neurogenetics, 27(1-2), 23-42. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/01677063.2013.791692
Koh K., M. N. Wu, Z. Yue, C. J. Smith, & A. Sehgal. (2008) Identification of SLEEPLESS, a Sleep-Promoting Factor. Science, 321(5887), 372-376. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1155942
Liu Weijie, Beika Lu, & Aike Guo. (2008) amnesiac regulates sleep onset and maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 372(4), 798-803. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.05.119
Otters don’t tend to be very visible to us, but they are more abundant than we might perceive them to be. Otters mostly live in isolation of one another, yet they manage to remotely communicate to one another without the aid of modern technology that we so often depend upon for communication.
On this blog, I previously wrote how otters communicate with one another using their spraints (faeces). They use them to mark their territory and to leave messages for other otters. As part of the rese........ Read more »
Kean, E., Chadwick, E., & Müller, C. (2014) Scent signals individual identity and country of origin in otters. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2014.12.004
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, today is the last day to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Is this perhaps the anti-reptile theory? We don’t know, but it is potentially a powerful stealth weapon for cases where your opponent is attempting […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: In the face of ambiguity, we just make stuff up!
Simple Jury Persuasion: “That was the witness who spoke so sadly”
Simp........ Read more »
Norman L, Lawrence N, Iles A, Benattayallah A, & Karl A. (2014) Attachment-security priming attenuates amygdala activation to social and linguistic threat. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. PMID: 25326039
Bipolar disorder appearing again on this blog this week? It's just the way that the papers fall...With a title like: 'Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness' I was hardly likely to pass up the opportunity to discuss the paper by Umberto Albert and colleagues  and their suggestion that there may be a lot more to see when it comes to "a purinergic dysfunction associated with BD [bipolar disorder]".I lost the defuser gun when I mispla........ Read more »
Albert U, De Cori D, Aguglia A, Barbaro F, Bogetto F, & Maina G. (2014) Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness. Journal of affective disorders, 170-175. PMID: 25462413
The FIFA11 program reduced injuries and improved functional performance. It is more effective if compliance and adherence are high, both of which are better if a coach educated on the program administers the program to the team.... Read more »
Barengo, N., Meneses-Echávez, J., Ramírez-Vélez, R., Cohen, D., Tovar, G., & Bautista, J. (2014) The Impact of the FIFA 11 Training Program on Injury Prevention in Football Players: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(11), 11986-12000. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph111111986
As December rolls into its second half, and the days warm up - or cool down - depending on where you are situated on the globe, we wanted to say thank you for joining us in 2014 - we are continually blown away with the popular and supportive community we have around us at Do You Believe in Dog? here on the blog, on Facebook and also on Twitter. Taking our lead from Companion Animal Psychology, we decided to jump into some statistics (because hey, we are scientists!) to see wh........ Read more »
Scanlon Eileen. (2013) Scholarship in the digital age: Open educational resources, publication and public engagement. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 12-23. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12010
Stilgoe J., & J. Wilsdon. (2014) Why should we promote public engagement with science?. Public Understanding of Science, 23(1), 4-15. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662513518154
Effect of shoe drop on running mechanics... Read more »
Chambon N, Delattre N, Guéguen N, Berton E, & Rao G. (2014) Shoe drop has opposite influence on running pattern when running overground or on a treadmill. European journal of applied physiology. PMID: 25501676
While the anti-vaccine movement enjoys the simple (and very wrong) answer to the cause of autism, there are people who want the actual truth. This drive had lead to a slew of causes (and risk factors) for autism in recent times. Now scientists have found that very small segments of genes called “microexons” influence how proteins interact with each other in the nervous system. In turn, this opens up a new line of research into the cause of autism.... Read more »
Irimia, M., Weatheritt, R., Ellis, J., Parikshak, N., Gonatopoulos-Pournatzis, T., Babor, M., Quesnel-Vallières, M., Tapial, J., Raj, B., O’Hanlon, D.... (2014) A Highly Conserved Program of Neuronal Microexons Is Misregulated in Autistic Brains. Cell, 159(7), 1511-1523. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.11.035
Increased sea temperature due to climate change can influence the distribution, abundance and seasonal timing of zooplankton. Changing zooplankton dynamics might in turn impact the higher trophic levels, such as fish and seabirds, feeding on these animals. In a recent paper, we show that temperature variation in the Atlantic waters of the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea might have stronger effects on the abundance of the younger than older development stages of Calanus fin........ Read more »
Kvile, K., Dalpadado, P., Orlova, E., Stenseth, N., & Stige, L. (2014) Temperature effects on Calanus finmarchicus vary in space, time and between developmental stages. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 85-104. DOI: 10.3354/meps11024
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