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  • February 28, 2016
  • 12:22 AM


by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Post moved:

At the moment, I would argue that modern educational thought does not pay sufficient attention to that first acquisition phase of learning. This does not seem to be a deliberate shifting of attentional resources away from Phase 1; rather, it is more a matter of conceptualizing "learning" as not having a Phase 1 at all—or a Phase 1 so straightforward and inevitable that it is of little interest to either practitioners or researcher........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2016
  • 12:00 AM

Sticks and stones (3): How names hurt

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

The shock of the old

Most people in Iceland don’t have family names. Instead, Icelanders’ last names are made from their father or mother’s first name, to which males add the suffix -son (son) and females -dóttir (daughter). This practice can seem strange to outsiders, but it was common throughout Scandinavia until surprisingly recently: laws compelling citizens to adopt heritable family names were only enacted in 1828 in Denmark, 1901 in Sweden, and 1922 in Norway......... Read more »

Baek SK, Kiet HA, & Kim BJ. (2007) Family name distributions: master equation approach. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 76(4 Pt 2), 46113. PMID: 17995066  

Chang, J., Donnelly, P., Wiuf, C., Hein, J., Slatkin, M., Ewens, W., & Kingman, J. (1999) Recent common ancestors of all present-day individuals. Advances in Applied Probability, 31(4), 1002-1026. DOI: 10.1239/aap/1029955256  

Colman, A., Sluckin, W., & Hargreaves, D. (1981) The effect of familiarity on preferences for surnames. British Journal of Psychology, 72(3), 363-369. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1981.tb02195.x  

A. Crook. (2012) Personal Names in 18th-Century Scotland: a case study of the parish of Beith (North Ayrshire). Journal of Scottish Name Studies, 1-10. info:/

Guo, J., Chen, Q., & Wang, Y. (2011) Statistical distribution of Chinese names. Chinese Physics B, 20(11), 118901. DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/20/11/118901  

Shannon, C. (1948) A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Bell System Technical Journal, 27(3), 379-423. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1948.tb01338.x  

Shannon, C. (1951) Prediction and Entropy of Printed English. Bell System Technical Journal, 30(1), 50-64. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1951.tb01366.x  

  • February 26, 2016
  • 02:11 PM

Why people oppose same-sex marriage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Marriage is legal (here in the US anyway), now I’m not gay, but that is exciting to me. So the question remains, has society fallen apart? Are cats hanging out with dogs and toast falling butter side up? Of course not, so then why do opponents of same-sex marriage really oppose it? A UCLA psychology study concludes that many people believe gay men and women are more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals, which they may fear could threaten their own marriages and their way of life.

... Read more »

Pinsof, D., & Haselton, M.G. (2016) The moral divide over same-sex marriage: reproductive strategies in conflict?. Psychological Science. info:/

  • February 26, 2016
  • 10:00 AM

Ο οίκος των Αχαιμενιδών

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Το ερέθισμα των Περσικών πολέμων (502-449 π.Χ) και η ανέλπιστη νίκη των Ελλήνων, έβγαλαν την κυρίως Ελλάδα από τ&e........ Read more »

Chilon. (2016) Ο οίκος των Αχαιμενιδών. Chilon . info:/

  • February 24, 2016
  • 03:03 PM

So, our immune cells don’t see some carbon nano invaders…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists at the University of Michigan have found evidence that some carbon nanomaterials can enter into immune cell membranes, seemingly going undetected by the cell's built-in mechanisms for engulfing and disposing of foreign material, and then escape through some unidentified pathway.

... Read more »

Russ KA, Elvati P, Parsonage TL, Dews A, Jarvis JA, Ray M, Schneider B, Smith PJ, Williamson PT, Violi A.... (2016) C60 fullerene localization and membrane interactions in RAW 264.7 immortalized mouse macrophages. Nanoscale, 8(7), 4134-44. PMID: 26866469  

  • February 23, 2016
  • 06:10 AM

Love? All You Need is... Oxytocin

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is involved in emphatetic behaviours in tiny rodents.... Read more »

Burkett, J., Andari, E., Johnson, Z., Curry, D., de Waal, F., & Young, L. (2016) Oxytocin-dependent consolation behavior in rodents. Science, 351(6271), 375-378. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4785  

  • February 22, 2016
  • 04:14 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.

... Read more »

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 21, 2016
  • 04:25 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 21, 2016
  • 12:34 PM

Does musicality have a biological foundation?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A few days ago a study was published by the team of Irma Järvelä (University of Helsinki) on the identification of genetic variants underlying musical ability. They based their new study (Liu et al., 2016) on an existing database of ca. 150 unrelated Finnish subjects that were tested for their musical ability using a collection of pitch and pattern perception tests. In addition, for all participants genomic DNA was available (based on a blood sample). The participants were divided into........ Read more »

Liu, X., Kanduri, C., Oikkonen, J., Karma, K., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Teo, Y., & Järvelä, I. (2016) Detecting signatures of positive selection associated with musical aptitude in the human genome. Scientific Reports, 21198. DOI: 10.1038/srep21198  

Gingras, B., Honing, H., Peretz, I., Trainor, L., & Fisher, S. (2015) Defining the biological bases of individual differences in musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140092-20140092. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0092  

  • February 20, 2016
  • 06:00 AM

The Myth of "Mind-Altering Parasite" Toxoplasma Gondii?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Toxoplasma gondii is a tiny organism that lives inside cells. It may well live inside your cells - the parasite up to 50% of the world's population, along with cats and many other animal species.

This is worrying, because many researchers believe that T. gondii infection, or toxoplasmosis, can alter human behavior. Among other organs, the parasite infects the brain, and it has been blamed for making people more impulsive, and more prone to mental illness, including schizophrenia. The ... Read more »

  • February 19, 2016
  • 04:07 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 19, 2016
  • 03:42 PM

Can atheism increase stock market volatility?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a ridiculous idea, so daft it’s probably not even worth spending time thinking about. But stick with me on this because the analysis is a fascinating one. I’m talking about a recent study by Benjamin Blau, a finance expert at Utah State University. He picked up on a [Read More...]... Read more »

  • February 18, 2016
  • 04:20 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.

... Read more »

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 18, 2016
  • 10:00 AM

Η Ιερά Εξέταση

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Η Ιερά Εξέταση ήταν Εκκλησιαστικός θεσμός δικαστικού χαρακτήρα της Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησί&al........ Read more »

Chilon-Pitheys. (2016) Η Ιερά Εξέταση. Chilon . info:/

  • February 18, 2016
  • 03:11 AM

Do not ever blame those lazy beings…

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Lazy workers, in insect colonies, are very important for long-term sustainability of those colonies.

Published in:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

Everyone knows that insects live in colonies; they work in societies, and they follow the rules of a good social order. They are very efficient in doing their work, i.e. collection of food. However, few people know that ant colonies have many inactive workers. Sometimes, the number of those inactive workers results in red........ Read more »

Hasegawa, E., Ishii, Y., Tada, K., Kobayashi, K., & Yoshimura, J. (2016) Lazy workers are necessary for long-term sustainability in insect societies. Scientific Reports, 20846. DOI: 10.1038/srep20846  

  • February 17, 2016
  • 02:44 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
  • 03:30 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.

... Read more »

  • February 15, 2016
  • 03:12 PM

Scientists prove feasibility of ‘printing’ replacement tissue

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using a sophisticated, custom-designed 3D printer, regenerative medicine scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proved that it is feasible to print living tissue structures to replace injured or diseased tissue in patients. Scientists said they printed ear, bone and muscle structures. When implanted in animals, the structures matured into functional tissue and developed a system of blood vessels.

... Read more »

  • February 14, 2016
  • 04:13 PM

‘Jaws’ may help humans grow new teeth, shark study suggests

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new insight into how sharks regenerate their teeth, which may pave the way for the development of therapies to help humans with tooth loss, has been discovered by scientists. The study has identified a network of genes that enables sharks to develop and regenerate their teeth throughout their lifetime. The genes also allow sharks to replace rows of their teeth using a conveyer belt-like system.

... Read more »

  • February 13, 2016
  • 03:37 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.

... Read more »

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  

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