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  • February 22, 2016
  • 05:14 PM

Scientists discover the way to a new generation of antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a common occurrence. Once isolated, more and more we are turning away from the traditional antibiotics to our so called "last line of defense" antibiotics to fight infections. Sadly in a growing number of cases these antibiotics are having less of an effect. However, new research reveals the mechanism by which drug-resistant bacterial cells maintain a defensive barrier.

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Gu, Y., Li, H., Dong, H., Zeng, Y., Zhang, Z., Paterson, N., Stansfeld, P., Wang, Z., Zhang, Y., Wang, W.... (2016) Structural basis of outer membrane protein insertion by the BAM complex. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17199  

  • February 22, 2016
  • 12:21 PM

The Bison in the Room

by Andrew White in AndyWhiteAnthropology

What if the Clovis adaptation in the Eastern Woodlands had nothing substantive whatsoever to do with mammoths and mastodons? What if all of those dioramas and illustrations of Paleoindian peoples swarming a mastodon mired in the muck are complete baloney?What if one of our most popular baseline notions about Clovis in the east is totally wrong?The thought isn't an original one, of course, but one that I've been thinking about since listening to a presentation by Christopher Moore (SCIAA col........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2016
  • 05:25 PM

Mutual mistrust may have added a few X-files to the UFO era

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mulder and Scully may have accomplished something that hasn't happened for society -- trust between two opposing viewpoints. According to a new study, uncloaking the flying saucer movement in the United States could offer historians a snapshot of Cold War attitudes at work in society, as well as insights into how science communication may be tied to current denialism and conspiracy theory movements.... Read more »

  • February 20, 2016
  • 04:34 PM

Some aging treatments shown to have opposite effects on males and females

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What helps her live longer might be harmful to him, according to a new study that may shed light on how and why organisms age. Analyzing years of previous research on dietary and pharmaceutical tests on flies and mice, researchers showed that aging interventions can have opposite effects on mortality rates in males versus females.

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  • February 19, 2016
  • 05:07 PM

Does rape alter the female brain?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sexual assault, personally, I hate the phrase. It sounds much more tame than rape and I think we should call it like it is, rape. Sure that might make a person's skin crawl just slightly -- and that is frankly the point. Rape is ugly, it's evil, it leaves an indelible mark on a person and unfortunately a new study shows that it may be worse. Researchers have discovered that prepubescent female rodents paired with sexually experienced males had elevated levels of stress hormones, could not learn ........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2016
  • 05:20 PM

A way to track and stop human and agricultural viruses

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Viruses are molecular thieves that take from their hosts under the cloak of darkness. But now a Virginia Tech scientist has found a way to not only track viral hijackers, but also potentially stop them from replicating. The discovery has broad ranging applications in stopping viral outbreaks such as Hepatitis C in humans and a number of viruses in plants and animals because it applies to many viruses in the largest category of viral classes -- positive-strand RNA viruses.

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Zhang, J., Zhang, Z., Chukkapalli, V., Nchoutmboube, J., Li, J., Randall, G., Belov, G., & Wang, X. (2016) Positive-strand RNA viruses stimulate host phosphatidylcholine synthesis at viral replication sites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201519730. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1519730113  

  • February 17, 2016
  • 04:13 PM

Upright Burial: A Mesolithic and Modern Phenomenon?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Recently, the popular news has been fascinated with the discovery of an upright burial from a Mesolithic cemetery site in Germany. Rightly so! Upright burials are an extremely rare phenomenon, […]... Read more »

Thomas Terberger, Andreas Kotula, Sebastian Lorenz, Manuela Schult, Joachim Burger, & Bettina Jungklaus. (2015) Standing upright to all eternity- The Mesolithic burial site at Groß Fredenwalde, Brandenburg (NE Germany) . Quartär . info:/

  • February 17, 2016
  • 03:44 PM

The potential pathway between insomnia and depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Have you ever had to deal with bouts of insomnia make you feel depressed? Well the good news is you’re not alone, in fact the two may be linked. A new study of firefighters suggests that insomnia and nightmares may increase the risk of depression by impairing the ability to access and leverage emotion regulation strategies effectively.

... Read more »

  • February 16, 2016
  • 04:30 PM

Researchers highlight brain region as ‘ground zero’ of Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A critical but vulnerable region in the brain appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease and may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously appreciated, according to a new review of the scientific literature.

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  • February 14, 2016
  • 01:25 AM

Week Six In Review: Open-Access Science | 8 to 14 Feb

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Migrants to ancient Rome, more advanced Mesolithic Swedish communities, delayed transatlantic flights, expanding bird populations, and greener deserts thanks to climate change. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2016
  • 04:37 PM

All the lonely people: Pinpointing loneliness in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than alone. Deprived of human contact, most people become lonely and emotionally distressed.

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Matthews GA, Nieh EH, Vander Weele CM, Halbert SA, Pradhan RV, Yosafat AS, Glober GF, Izadmehr EM, Thomas RE, Lacy GD.... (2016) Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation. Cell, 164(4), 617-631. PMID: 26871628  

  • February 12, 2016
  • 11:00 AM

Bioanthro Lab Activity: Chimpanzee Developmental Osteology

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

We’ve just done the first lab activity in my Human Evo Devo course. My current university is young, and so we haven’t yet acquired good skeletal materials for teaching. Fortunately, the good people at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute have made a large, open access database of primate CT scans. For this first lab, students […]... Read more »

Jungers WL and Susman RL. (1984) Body size and skeletal allometry in African Apes. The Pygmy Chimpanzee: Evolutionary Biology and Behavior, 131-177. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4757-0082-4_7  

  • February 10, 2016
  • 04:07 PM

Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The age at which an adolescent begins using marijuana may affect typical brain development, according to researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. In a paper recently published, scientists describe how marijuana use, and the age at which use is initiated, may adversely alter brain structures that underlie higher order thinking.

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  • February 10, 2016
  • 08:00 AM

New Morbid Terminology: Phossy Jaw, The Occupational Disease of Matchstick Makers

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There are a range of diseases, traumas and skeletal markers that can occur regularly with certain types of occupations. One historic example is called Tailor’s Notches. These are small indentations […]... Read more »

  • February 7, 2016
  • 04:07 PM

The molecular link between psychiatric disorders and type 2 diabetes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There may be a genetic connection between some mental health disorders and type 2 diabetes. In a new report, scientists show that a gene called “DISC1,” which is believed to play a role in mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression, influences the function of pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels.

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Jurczyk A, Nowosielska A, Przewozniak N, Aryee KE, DiIorio P, Blodgett D, Yang C, Campbell-Thompson M, Atkinson M, Shultz L.... (2016) Beyond the brain: disrupted in schizophrenia 1 regulates pancreatic β-cell function via glycogen synthase kinase-3β. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 30(2), 983-93. PMID: 26546129  

  • February 6, 2016
  • 04:49 PM

Brain plasticity assorted into functional networks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Plasticity of the brain, what does that even mean? Well the good news is that it isn’t just a marketing ploy, the brain needs to be “plastic” because we need to be able to adapt. Frankly speaking, the brain still has a lot to learn about itself. Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have made a key finding of the striking differences in how the brain’s cells can change through experience.

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  • February 5, 2016
  • 05:24 PM

Would You Stick Pins In A Voodoo Doll of Your Child?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Well? Would you...?

This was the question faced by the participants in a rather extraordinary series of studies described in a new paper from Illinois psychologists Randy J. McCarthy and colleagues. In total, 1081 parents with children aged under 18 were presented with an outline of a person, and asked to imagine that it was their own child. They were told to think of a time when their child made them angry. Finally, they were asked how many pins they would like to stick into the "doll" in or... Read more »

McCarthy RJ, Crouch JL, Basham AR, Milner JS, & Skowronski JJ. (2016) Validating the Voodoo Doll Task as a Proxy for Aggressive Parenting Behavior. Psychology of violence, 6(1), 135-144. PMID: 26839734  

  • February 5, 2016
  • 01:34 PM

Abnormalities in later cognitive stages of beat processing?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Beat deafness, a recently documented form of congenital amusia, provides a unique window into functional specialization of neural circuitry for the processing of musical stimuli: Beat-deaf individuals exhibit deficits that are specific to the detection of a regular beat in music and the ability to move along with a beat.... Read more »

Phillips-Silver, J., Toiviainen, P., Gosselin, N., Piché, O., Nozaradan, S., Palmer, C., & Peretz, I. (2011) Born to dance but beat deaf: A new form of congenital amusia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.002  

  • February 5, 2016
  • 12:30 AM

Hadza hunter-gatherers, social networks, and models of cooperation

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

At the heart of the Great Lakes region of East Africa is Tanzania — a republic comprised of 30 mikoa, or provinces. Its border is marked off by the giant lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi. But the lake that interests me the most is an internal one: 200 km from the border with Kenya at […]... Read more »

Apicella, C.L., Marlowe, F.W., Fowler, J.H., & Christakis, N.A. (2012) Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers. Nature, 481(7382), 497-501. PMID: 22281599  

  • February 4, 2016
  • 02:28 PM

Collective Burial: Emphasizing Community in Neolithic Spain

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

In the United States, historically we chose to bury our dead with our family and community. People would buy large plots within cemeteries where they could bury their relatives over […]... Read more »

Alt KW, Zesch S, Garrido-Pena R, Knipper C, Szécsényi-Nagy A, Roth C, Tejedor-Rodríguez C, Held P, García-Martínez-de-Lagrán Í, Navitainuck D.... (2016) A Community in Life and Death: The Late Neolithic Megalithic Tomb at Alto de Reinoso (Burgos, Spain). PloS one, 11(1). PMID: 26789731  

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