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  • March 22, 2016
  • 06:59 PM
  • 712 views

Ancient viruses lurk in our DNA

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Think your DNA is all human? Think again. And a new discovery suggests it’s even less human than scientists previously thought. Nineteen new pieces of non-human DNA — left by viruses that first infected our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago — have just been found, lurking between our own genes.

... Read more »

Wildschutte, J., Williams, Z., Montesion, M., Subramanian, R., Kidd, J., & Coffin, J. (2016) Discovery of unfixed endogenous retrovirus insertions in diverse human populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201602336. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1602336113  

  • March 21, 2016
  • 04:46 PM
  • 704 views

Sleep suppresses brain rebalancing

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why humans and other animals sleep is one of the remaining deep mysteries of physiology. One prominent theory in neuroscience is that sleep is when the brain replays memories "offline" to better encode them ("memory consolidation"). A prominent and competing theory is that sleep is important for rebalancing activity in brain networks that have been perturbed during learning while awake.

... Read more »

  • March 20, 2016
  • 04:32 PM
  • 694 views

A link between nightmares and suicidal behavior

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study is the first to report that the relationship between nightmares and suicidal behaviors is partially mediated by a multi-step pathway via defeat, entrapment, and hopelessness. Results show that suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts were present in 62 percent of participants who experienced nightmares and only 20 percent of those without nightmares.

... Read more »

  • March 20, 2016
  • 04:28 PM
  • 810 views

A European City With 50 Million People

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Many properties of cities are quantitatively predictable due to agglomeration or scaling effects. What do these general relations predict for European cities?... Read more »

Bettencourt, L., & Lobo, J. (2016) Urban scaling in Europe. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 13(116), 20160005. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0005  

  • March 19, 2016
  • 03:01 PM
  • 591 views

Forgetting, to learn

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

They say that once you’ve learned to ride a bicycle, you never forget how to do it. Unfortunately for students who hope this applies to studying, they might not like new research suggesting that while learning, the brain is actively trying to forget. While this may at first blush seem like a bad thing, it actually may be useful for those suffering from PTSD.

... Read more »

Madroñal, N., Delgado-García, J., Fernández-Guizán, A., Chatterjee, J., Köhn, M., Mattucci, C., Jain, A., Tsetsenis, T., Illarionova, A., Grinevich, V.... (2016) Rapid erasure of hippocampal memory following inhibition of dentate gyrus granule cells. Nature Communications, 10923. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10923  

  • March 19, 2016
  • 07:56 AM
  • 777 views

Is Replicability in Economics better than in Psychology?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Colin Camerer and colleagues recently published a Science article on the replicability of behavioural economics. ‘It appears that there is some difference in replication success’ between psychology and economics, they write, given their reproducibility rate of 61% and psychology’s of 36%. I took a closer look at the data to find out whether there really […]... Read more »

Camerer, C., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Almenberg, J., Altmejd, A., Chan, T.... (2016) Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0918  

  • March 18, 2016
  • 11:20 PM
  • 750 views

Supporting Instructional Analogies

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Hong Kong and Japanese teachers appear to be more attentive to the processing demands of relational comparisons than are U.S teachers. Their teaching reflects the use of strategies to reduce processing demands on their students. Such differences in adherence to sound cognitive principles may have a real impact on the likelihood that students benefit from analogies as instructional tools.... Read more »

  • March 18, 2016
  • 02:36 PM
  • 792 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 18, 2016
  • 09:22 AM
  • 678 views

The Rise And Fall Of Alexandria’s Library

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

Knowledge sharing: from Alexandria’s Library to Open Access... Read more »

  • March 17, 2016
  • 04:44 PM
  • 505 views

Once upon a time… On the origin of fairy tales

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

(Also appeared on United Academics Magazine) Once upon a time, around 6 000 years ago, there lived a blacksmith. This blacksmith was a true craftsman, always looking for ways to improve his metal-moulding skills. When he had practised all he could, he saw only one way towards perfection: a demonic deal. So he called forth […]... Read more »

  • March 14, 2016
  • 06:10 PM
  • 1,020 views

Crucial communication: language management in Australian asylum interviews

by Laura Smith-Khan in Language on the Move

Asylum seekers in Australia face a few very public hurdles. Successive governments have used increasingly restrictive refugee policies to gain...... Read more »

  • March 14, 2016
  • 11:17 AM
  • 751 views

Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Maggie NannenhornIf you’re like me, you never truly realize how quiet winter is until all the sounds of spring come back in a chorus of celebration. Between the birds, crickets, and frogs, you can really hear the love in the air. So you can hear the love, but can you feel the love? Wood frogs are known for their chorus of calls that sound like a duck laughing. Seriously, tell a duck a good knock-knock joke and that is what a male wood frog sounds like when trying to attract a mate. He make........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2016
  • 03:08 PM
  • 680 views

People with anxiety show fundamental differences in perception

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People suffering from anxiety perceive the world in a fundamentally different way than others, according to a new study. The research may help explain why certain people are more prone to anxiety. The study shows that people diagnosed with anxiety are less able to distinguish between a neutral, “safe” stimulus (in this case, the sound of a tone) and one that had earlier been associated with gaining or losing money.

... Read more »

  • March 12, 2016
  • 07:57 AM
  • 883 views

Science teachers could be obstacle to climate change education

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Climate change will continue to affect future generations, but are our children receiving accurate information about it? A new survey suggests not - here's a look and why and some possible solutions... Read more »

Plutzer, E., McCaffrey, M., Hannah, A., Rosenau, J., Berbeco, M., & Reid, A. (2016) Climate confusion among U.S. teachers. Science, 351(6274), 664-665. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3907  

  • March 11, 2016
  • 02:17 PM
  • 690 views

Finding the circuit for experience-informed decision-making

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How is the brain able to use past experiences to guide decision-making? A few years ago, researchers discovered in rats that awake mental replay of past experiences is critical for learning and making informed choices. Now, the team has discovered key secrets of the underlying brain circuitry — including a unique system that encodes location during inactive periods.

... Read more »

Kay, K., Sosa, M., Chung, J., Karlsson, M., Larkin, M., & Frank, L. (2016) A hippocampal network for spatial coding during immobility and sleep. Nature, 531(7593), 185-190. DOI: 10.1038/nature17144  

  • March 10, 2016
  • 10:08 PM
  • 242 views

Mates Make Groups for Individualists But Not for Collectivists

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Humans are an incredibly groupy type of animal. We form psychologically-meaningful groups based on our gender, age, nationality, religion, politics, skin colour, occupation, sexual inclination, and sports teams, to name just a few. Even in the artificial environment of psychology labs, people will identify with groups based on their totally random allocation to “Group A.” Indeed, they will declare that they feel “more similar” to Group A members than to Group B members, a........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2016
  • 08:50 AM
  • 757 views

Date of birth has a connection to ADHD

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Birth date of a child could play an important role in determining the chances of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Published in:

The Journal of Pediatrics

Study Further:

In a recent study, researchers from Taiwan considered 378881 subjects in the age range of 4 to 17 years during the study period from September 1, 1997 to August 31, 2011. Those subjects in the study were enrolled from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dat........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2016
  • 02:36 PM
  • 695 views

Want a younger brain? Stay in school — and take the stairs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Taking the stairs is normally associated with keeping your body strong and healthy. But new research shows that it improves your brain’s health too — and that education also has a positive effect. Researchers found that the more flights of stairs a person climbs, and the more years of school a person completes, the “younger” their brain physically appears.

... Read more »

  • March 8, 2016
  • 09:22 PM
  • 1,013 views

Temples helping heritage language maintenance in Australia

by Niru Perera in Language on the Move

Do you know which non-Christian religion has grown the fastest in Australia since the new millennium? You might be surprised...... Read more »

Perera, N. (2016) Tamil in the temples – Language and religious maintenance beyond the first generation. Multilingua. info:/10.1515/multi-2015-0059

  • March 7, 2016
  • 04:15 PM
  • 673 views

Preemies’ gut bacteria reveal vast scope of antibiotic resistance

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Yesterday we blogged about the emergent and increasing antibiotic resistance problem, which was good -- or bad timing -- depending on how you look at it. A new study of gut bacteria in premature infants reveals the vast scope of the problem of antibiotic resistance and gives new insight into the extreme vulnerability of these young patients, according to researchers.

... Read more »

Gibson, M., Wang, B., Ahmadi, S., Burnham, C., Tarr, P., Warner, B., & Dantas, G. (2016) Developmental dynamics of the preterm infant gut microbiota and antibiotic resistome. Nature Microbiology, 16024. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.24  

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