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  • May 6, 2016
  • 03:35 PM
  • 721 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

  • May 6, 2016
  • 11:04 AM
  • 653 views

Book Review: Curating Biocultural Collections

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Curating Biocultural Collections: A Handbook is edited by Margaret Jan Salick, Katie  Konchar, and Mark Nesbitt, and the volume’s contributors are practicing researchers and experts in biocultural curating. The editors of this volume argue that many specimen and biocultural collections—which are repositories for plants and animals used by people, products made from them, and the […]... Read more »

Farid Pazhoohi. (2016) Curating Biocultural Collections: A Handbook (Salick, Konchar and Nesbitt, eds.). Museum Anthropology Review, 10(2). info:/

  • May 4, 2016
  • 09:17 AM
  • 864 views

Reassessing Markers of Stress in Medieval London

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

An article popped up in my news feed yesterday. The title read: “Skeletal marker of physiological stress might indicate good, rather than poor, health“. The summary of the article stated […]... Read more »

  • May 2, 2016
  • 03:45 PM
  • 730 views

Origin of synaptic pruning process linked to learning, autism and schizophrenia identified

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Vaccines don't cause autism, but because the brain is so complex, we still don't know how much of it works so figuring out the real causes (as in more than one) of autism has been slow going. Well, researchers have identified a brain receptor that appears to initiate adolescent synaptic pruning, a process believed necessary for learning, but in this case it is one that appears to go awry in both autism and schizophrenia.... Read more »

Sonia Afroz, Julie Parato, Hui Shen Sheryl, & Sue Smith. (2016) Synaptic pruning in the female hippocampus is triggered at puberty by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors on dendritic spines . eLife. info:/

  • May 1, 2016
  • 03:17 PM
  • 604 views

Influence of religion and predestination on evolution and scientific thinking

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Generally seen as antithetical to one another, evolution and religion can hardly fit in a scientific discourse simultaneously. However, in a new article, a biology researcher delves into observations on the influences a few major religions have had on evolutionists and their scientific thinking over the centuries.

... Read more »

  • April 29, 2016
  • 12:32 PM
  • 805 views

Cuckoldary is rare in humans!

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Human behavioral scientists argue that extra-pair copulation is adaptive in human females, as through extra-pair copulation, women can acquire good genes from other potential mates. This is suggested because it is found that women experience greater sexual attraction to particular extra-pair men, but not their own partners, during their highest peak of fertility (Gangestad & […]... Read more »

Gangestad, S., & Thornhill, R. (2008) Human oestrus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1638), 991-1000. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1425  

Larmuseau MH, Matthijs K, & Wenseleers T. (2016) Cuckolded Fathers Rare in Human Populations. Trends in ecology , 31(5), 327-9. PMID: 27107336  

  • April 28, 2016
  • 07:19 AM
  • 1,109 views

Portrait of a linguistic shirker

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move








I recently pointed out that the widespread belief that migrants refuse to learn the language of their new country does not stack up against the realities of adult language learning. I summarized the research that shows that adult language learning is complex and difficult and rarely an all-out success; to blame migrants for their failure to learn a new language (well) is adding insult to injury.
The German-language club (“Stammtisch”) in New York founded by G........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2016
  • 05:55 PM
  • 789 views

Addiction, it’s in your genes… maybe

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why does one person who tries cocaine get addicted, while another might use it and then leave it alone? Why do some people who kick a drug habit manage to stay clean, while others relapse? And why do some families seem more prone to addiction than others? According to a new study, the road to answering these questions may have a lot to do with specific genetic factors that vary from individual to individual.

... Read more »

Flagel, S., Chaudhury, S., Waselus, M., Kelly, R., Sewani, S., Clinton, S., Thompson, R., Watson, S., & Akil, H. (2016) Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201520491. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1520491113  

  • April 27, 2016
  • 05:42 PM
  • 711 views

Measuring happiness on social media

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happiness. It’s something we all strive for, but how do we measure it — as a country? A global community? Not so surprisingly, researchers are turning to social media to answer these questions and more. In a newly published study, computer scientists used two years of Twitter data to measure users’ life satisfaction, a component of happiness.

... Read more »

  • April 26, 2016
  • 09:57 AM
  • 922 views

Human sacrifice, inequality, and cycles of political power

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Human sacrifice to preserve inequality Statistically speaking (wait, wait, don’t click away, I know this is not the most enticing opening, but bear with me), you and me, we are not part of the 1%, or the 0.01%, that in most Western societies holds a disproportionate amount of influence and resources. Secretly, though, we want […]... Read more »

  • April 24, 2016
  • 12:47 PM
  • 776 views

Mate Retention Tactics Decline with Age of Men

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Physical attractiveness influences mate selection across cultures, and youthfulness of women is associated with their future reproductive value and fertility. Men attribute importance to youthful features in females such as large eyes, small nose, higher pitched voice, and full lips and perceive these neotenous features as attractive. More feminine women report more frequently being guarded […]... Read more »

Pazhoohi, F., Jahromi, A., & Doyle, J. (2016) Mate Retention Tactics Decline with Age of Iranian Men. Evolutionary Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1007/s40806-016-0046-8  

  • April 21, 2016
  • 09:12 AM
  • 964 views

Death Comes to Stonehenge: The Burned Remains

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There is something mysterious about Stonehenge. I have a very distinct memory of visiting Stonehenge as a child, seeing the standing rocks in the distance Perhaps it was the fog and grey […]... Read more »

Willis, C., Marshall, P., McKinley, J., Pitts, M., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Richards, J., Thomas, J., Waldron, T., Welham, K.... (2016) The dead of Stonehenge. Antiquity, 90(350), 337-356. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.26  

Pearson, M., Chamberlain, A., Jay, M., Marshall, P., Pollard, J., Richards, C., Thomas, J., Tilley, C., & Welham, K. (2015) Who was buried at Stonehenge?. Antiquity, 83(319), 23-39. DOI: 10.1017/S0003598X00098069  

  • April 19, 2016
  • 08:05 PM
  • 543 views

Neural stem cell transplants aid traumatic brain injury recovery

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

No one knows Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) quite like veterans. Unfortunately, it is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, often causing lifelong disability for those who survive. There is simply no treatment, jut care, but a new study might change that. Stem cell therapy has recently been receiving attention as a way to promote […]... Read more »

Junling Gao, Raymond J. Grill, Tiffany J. Dunn, Supinder Bedi, Javier Allende Labastida, Robert A. Hetz, Hasen Xue, Jason R. Thonhoff, Douglas S. DeWitt, Donald S. Prough.... (2016) Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation-Mediated Alteration of Microglial/Macrophage Phenotypes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Cell Transplantation. DOI: 10.3727/096368916X691150  

  • April 17, 2016
  • 04:00 AM
  • 1,219 views

Week 15 In Review: Open-Access Science | 11 to 17 April

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Swarming Red Crabs, 11,000-year-old shaman headdress, 'superfast' wing muscles, slowdown of giant airstreams, and sexually transmitted infections in Neanderthals. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week, ... Read more »

Stadtherr, L., Coumou, D., Petoukhov, V., Petri, S., & Rahmstorf, S. (2016) Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance. Science Advances, 2(4). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501428  

  • April 12, 2016
  • 07:11 PM
  • 1,124 views

Cleaning work: a stepping-stone or a dead-end job for migrants?

by Maiju Strommer in Language on the Move

Let me at once introduce you to the main character of this blog post: Kifibin. He is a Ugandan man...... Read more »

  • April 6, 2016
  • 07:23 AM
  • 1,187 views

The language that cannot speak its name

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Our understanding of the role of language in social life suffers from a particularly intractable problem: the terms we use...... Read more »

  • April 5, 2016
  • 06:17 PM
  • 722 views

Suicidal thinking and US veterans

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Something very personal about me, the thought of suicide is never too far behind. It is to the point that I need to qualify it to my counselor when I am asked if I have thoughts of suicide, I always do. A new study shows that I am far from alone Nearly 14 percent of military veterans reported suicidal thinking at one or both phases of a two-year Veterans Affairs (VA) study.... Read more »

  • April 3, 2016
  • 04:25 PM
  • 968 views

Debunking the Myth of the Sole Genious

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Innovations don’t require heroic geniuses any more than your thoughts hinge on a particular neuron.... Read more »

Muthukrishna, M., & Henrich, J. (2016) Innovation in the collective brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1690), 20150192. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0192  

  • April 3, 2016
  • 04:17 PM
  • 678 views

Early detection of dementia in Parkinson’s disease might be key to treatment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If Parkinson’s disease wasn’t bad enough for families to have to learn to deal with, about 80% of patients also develop dementia. That’s the problem with the brain; while it has the amazing ability to adapt to just about anything, it can’t fix everything. There are no particularly good solutions to Parkinson’s or dementia, however, early detection of dementia is key to keeping it at bay and a new study may have a way to do just that.

... Read more »

Bertrand, J., McIntosh, A., Postuma, R., Kovacevic, N., Latreille, V., Panisset, M., Chouinard, S., & Gagnon, J. (2016) Brain Connectivity Alterations Are Associated with the Development of Dementia in Parkinson's Disease. Brain Connectivity, 6(3), 216-224. DOI: 10.1089/brain.2015.0390  

  • April 2, 2016
  • 05:43 PM
  • 699 views

Born to run? Love of exercise may start in the womb

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you see me on the street and I am running, there is a good chance you should be running as well, because something dangerous is coming. I don’t run, I hate to run, I loathe running, did I mention I don’t like to run? Maybe it’s all the running I did in the military, or if a new study is correct, it may have to do with my mother. Which is good, because now I can blame someone else for my hatred of running.

... Read more »

Eclarinal, J., Zhu, S., Baker, M., Piyarathna, D., Coarfa, C., Fiorotto, M., & Waterland, R. (2016) Maternal exercise during pregnancy promotes physical activity in adult offspring. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500018R  

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