The study of the DNA of vira is becoming increasingly popular to understand how it affected people in the past, how the disease evolved, and whether its modern equivalents are similar. Genomic studies of different variations of the plague have been in the news over the past few years. A recent study of the Justinian … Continue reading »... Read more »
Schuenemann, V., Singh, P., Mendum, T., Krause-Kyora, B., Jager, G., Bos, K., Herbig, A., Economou, C., Benjak, A., Busso, P.... (2013) Genome-Wide Comparison of Medieval and Modern Mycobacterium leprae. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1238286
Many plants have a tendency to lean towards the light. Until Charles Darwin and his son performed what is now a famous experiment in botany, sparking detailed investigations into how plants grow towards the light, spanning three centuries.
1880 - The Darwin Experiments
Most famous for his seminal...
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Willige BC, Ahlers S, Zourelidou M, Barbosa IC, Demarsy E, Trevisan M, Davis PA, Roelfsema MR, Hangarter R, Fankhauser C.... (2013) D6PK AGCVIII Kinases Are Required for Auxin Transport and Phototropic Hypocotyl Bending in Arabidopsis. The Plant cell. PMID: 23709629
Is a laboratory test or brain scanning method for diagnosing psychiatric disorders right around the corner? How about a test to choose the best method of treatment? Many labs around the world are working to solve these problems, but we don't yet have such diagnostic procedures (despite what some might claim). A new study by McGrath et al. (2013) might be a step in that direction, but the results are very preliminary and await further validation.The principal investigator of that study is Dr. Hel........ Read more »
McGrath CL, Kelley ME, Holtzheimer PE, Dunlop BW, Craighead WE, Franco AR, Craddock RC, & Mayberg HS. (2013) Toward a Neuroimaging Treatment Selection Biomarker for Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA psychiatry (Chicago, Ill.), 1-9. PMID: 23760393
The Wellcome Trust Monitor documents the views of adults and young people in the UK about science and medical research. The survey is conducted every three years, in order to capture how public opinion is changing over time and also … Continue reading →... Read more »
Marrie RA, Salter AR, Tyry T, Fox RJ, & Cutter GR. (2013) Preferred sources of health information in persons with multiple sclerosis: degree of trust and information sought. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(4). PMID: 23635393
I've been doing this whole parenting thing for almost three months now and it has been simultaneously gratifying, terrifying, exhausting, and fascinating. One thing I haven't been doing is sleeping, and because of this I have had a lot of time to read up on some neat research on new parents. Last time I wrote about how parenting reduces Testosterone in men. Today I blog about the relationship between parenting and immune function.
Can parenting boost the immune system?
Read More->........ Read more »
Risk of injury from ‘foot type’ – back to ‘overpronation’... Read more »
Tong JW, & Kong PW. (2013) Association Between Foot Type and Lower Extremity Injuries: Systematic Literature Review With Meta-analysis. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. PMID: 23756327
A group of scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea, has developed a new metal-free fuel cell catalyst using edge-halogenated graphene nanoscale platelets. As a replacement for the expensive platinum-based catalysts this graphene application opens a way to affordable fuel cells.... Read more »
Jeon, I., Choi, H., Choi, M., Seo, J., Jung, S., Kim, M., Zhang, S., Zhang, L., Xia, Z., Dai, L.... (2013) Facile, scalable synthesis of edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets as efficient metal-free eletrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep01810
In the year 2006 'google' was officially declared a verb in Oxford Dictionary and Merriam Webster. But startups have not given up on building search engines. That same year Facebook opened its doors to users over the age of 13, preparing for exponential growth spurt. The list of startups working on yet another social network and lining up to present their sites at Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup kept growing too. And so were the crowds attending the meetups - as everybody wanted to see the next ........ Read more »
Cantor M, & Whitehead H. (2013) The interplay between social networks and culture: theoretically and among whales and dolphins. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 368(1618), 20120340. PMID: 23569288
Communication between cells takes many forms. There could be communication by sending out microvesicles with important messages inside, by sending out free molecules (like hormones) or by special structures (e.g. synapses). Sonic hedgehog (SHH) is a signaling protein that is important … Continue reading →... Read more »
Sanders TA, Llagostera E, & Barna M. (2013) Specialized filopodia direct long-range transport of SHH during vertebrate tissue patterning. Nature, 497(7451), 628-32. PMID: 23624372
Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute (UHNAI) have discovered high concentrations of boron in a Martian meteorite. When present in its oxidized form (borate), boron may have played a key role in the formation of RNA, one of the building blocks for life.... Read more »
University of Hawaii at Manoa. (2013) UH Astrobiologists Find Martian Clay Contains Chemical Implicated in the Origin of Life. University of Hawaii at Manoa. info:/
Blinkers and non-blinkers have individual differences in selective attention and the ability of the non-blinkers to sense the targets presented in close temporal succession might be due to fairly quicker and exact target selection process.
Many people are unable to respond to the second target when presented in close time to the first (200-500 ms interval) and this phenomenon is known as attentional blink (AB). This concept is in r........ Read more »
Willems, C., Wierda, S., van Viegen, E., & Martens, S. (2013) Individual Differences in the Attentional Blink: The Temporal Profile of Blinkers and Non-Blinkers. PLoS ONE, 8(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066185
When people think of mental problems related to body image, often the first thing that comes to mind is the thin figure associated with anorexia. Body dysmorphic disorder is less well known, but has around five times the prevalence of anorexia (about 2% of the population), and a high level of psychological impairment. It’s a mental disorder where the main symptom is excessive fear of looking ugly or disfigured. Central to the diagnosis is the fact that the person actually looks normal.... Read more »
Buchanan, B., Rossell, S., Maller, J., Toh, W., Brennan, S., & Castle, D. (2013) Brain connectivity in body dysmorphic disorder compared with controls: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Psychological Medicine, 1-9. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291713000421
Psychiatry — which uses well-intentioned coercion, unscientific diagnoses and psychoactive drugs that do as much harm as good — is a science that is off course, according to a new book co-written by Tomi Gomory, an associate professor in the Florida State University College of Social Work.... Read more »
Jeffery Seay. (2013) Down the wrong path : Book details psychiatry's lack of objective science. Florida State University. info:/
A collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers and a team led by the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Malcolm Guthrie has led to discoveries about how ice behaves under pressure, changing ideas that date back almost 50 years. The findings could alter scientists’ understanding of how the water molecule responds to conditions found deep within planets and could have implications for energy science.... Read more »
Guthrie, M., Boehler, R., Tulk, C., Molaison, J., dos Santos, A., Li, K., & Hemley, R. (2013) Neutron diffraction observations of interstitial protons in dense ice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1309277110
If someone told you to put your rock hard green McIntosh apple with a banana as that would make it ripe, you sure would scoff a little. But, believe your ears and do that yourself. It’s an easy way to get that red juicy goodness without spending a single penny! It sounds like magic – but it’s pure science. A very recent study by scientists from the Salk institute for Biological Studies have published their finding in the online international journal eLIFE – stating that ........ Read more »
Katherine Noelani Chang, Shan Zhong, Matthew T Weirauch, Gary Hon, Mattia Pelizzola, Hai Li, Shao-shan Carol Huang, Robert J Schmitz, Mark A Urich, Dwight Kuo, Joseph R Nery, Hong Qiao, Ally Yang, Abdullah Jamali, Huaming Chen, Trey Ideker, Bing Ren, Ziv . (2013) Temporal transcriptional response to ethylene gas drives growth hormone cross-regulation in Arabidopsis . eLife. info:/
Running to the heart's discontent... Read more »
Burr JF, Drury CT, Phillips AA, Ivey A, Ku J, & Warburton DE. (2013) Long-term ultra-marathon running and arterial compliance. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia. PMID: 23707138
For the first time, researchers have found that stress can leave an epigenetic mark on sperm, which then alters the offspring’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a part of the brain that deals with responding to stress. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The experiment was conducted with preadolescent and adult male mice, in which stress was induced – for example by confronting the mice with predator odor (fox urine) or foreign objects in their cages......... Read more »
Rodgers, A., Morgan, C., Bronson, S., Revello, S., & Bale, T. (2013) Paternal Stress Exposure Alters Sperm MicroRNA Content and Reprograms Offspring HPA Stress Axis Regulation. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(21), 9003-9012. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0914-13.2013
It is only a matter of time until idealism sees the release of confidential genetic data on study participants, says Steven E. Brenner.... Read more »
Keeping it real often means hanging out
From Ancient Greek philosophy to humanistic psychology to modern day rap songs, there's a long tradition of espousing the benefits of being true to yourself or "keeping it real". Despite this interest, a new study by Alison Lenton is one of the first to investigate what being true to oneself actually feels like, how often it happens and in what circumstances.
Lenton and her colleagues began by surveying 104 participants (average age 35; 66 women) on th........ Read more »
Lenton, A., Bruder, M., Slabu, L., & Sedikides, C. (2013) How Does “Being Real” Feel? The Experience of State Authenticity. Journal of Personality, 81(3), 276-289. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2012.00805.x
It's the usual excuse from me, "the dog ate my homework sir", no not that one, the one about me having a busy week so not being able to post a particularly detailed blog entry this time around. Indeed although there is the usual plethora of research material to pick from, only a few studies have really caught me eye so far this week. But those studies are pretty interesting....Must try harder @ Wikipedia I'm starting with the paper by Stephen Kanne and colleagues* and their descriptio........ Read more »
Kanne, S., Mazurek, M., Sikora, D., Bellando, J., Branum-Martin, L., Handen, B., Katz, T., Freedman, B., Powell, M., & Warren, Z. (2013) The Autism Impact Measure (AIM): Initial Development of a New Tool for Treatment Outcome Measurement. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-1862-3
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