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  • October 1, 2016
  • 03:20 PM
  • 6 views

Nature or nurture: is violence in our genes?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nature or nurture? The quest to understand why humans kill one another has occupied the minds of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists for centuries. Are we innately violent, as Englishman Thomas Hobbes postulated in the 1650s, or is our behaviour influenced more by the environment we grow up in, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorised a century later?

... Read more »

Gómez, J., Verdú, M., González-Megías, A., & Méndez, M. (2016) The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature19758  

  • September 30, 2016
  • 03:14 PM
  • 29 views

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers has found that consuming an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders. DHA can be found in fatty, cold-water fish and is produced by the algae that fish eat and store in their bodies. It can be found in fish oil supplements as well, used by more than 30 million Americans.

... Read more »

  • September 29, 2016
  • 11:25 PM
  • 41 views

Locating social memories in the brain

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

Scientists have identified that social memories are stored in the vetral CA1 region of the brain (in mice). After meeting a mouse and forgetting it, the memories can be reactivated optogenetically, indicating that they exist, but cannot be retrieved after time passes... Read more »

Okuyama, T., Kitamura, T., Roy, D., Itohara, S., & Tonegawa, S. (2016) Ventral CA1 neurons store social memory. Science, 353(6307), 1536-1541. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7003  

  • September 29, 2016
  • 01:36 PM
  • 41 views

Children could point the way to new HIV treatments

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Children with HIV who can resist the disease progressing could point the way to new treatments for HIV infection that are more widely applicable to infected adults and children alike, an international team of researchers has found.


... Read more »

Muenchhoff, M., Adland, E., Karimanzira, O., Crowther, C., Pace, M., Csala, A., Leitman, E., Moonsamy, A., McGregor, C., Hurst, J.... (2016) Nonprogressing HIV-infected children share fundamental immunological features of nonpathogenic SIV infection. Science Translational Medicine, 8(358), 358-358. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag1048  

  • September 28, 2016
  • 01:51 PM
  • 63 views

Research team may have observed building blocks of memories in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers has observed what they believe are the building blocks of memories in a mouse brain. In their paper, the researchers describe how they caused certain neurons to become illuminated when they fired, allowing them to watch in real time as memories were made and then later as they were replayed while the mouse was sitting idle.

... Read more »

Malvache, A., Reichinnek, S., Villette, V., Haimerl, C., & Cossart, R. (2016) Awake hippocampal reactivations project onto orthogonal neuronal assemblies. Science, 353(6305), 1280-1283. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3319  

  • September 27, 2016
  • 05:50 PM
  • 73 views

The unintended consequences of almond milk on California

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study using aerial imagery across the state of California has found that converting land to grow almonds between 2007 and 2014 has led to a 27% annual increase in irrigation demands—despite the state's historic drought. The expansion of almonds has also consumed 16,000 acres of wetlands and will likely put additional pressure on already stressed honeybee populations.

... Read more »

WATKINS, Larissa, WATSON, Kelly, & HUFFMAN, F. Tyler. (2016) MONITORING CHANGE IN AGRICULTURAL LAND AND WATER USAGE IN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY USING GEOSPATIAL TECHNIQUES. Geological Society of America. info:/10.1130/abs/2016AM-285205

  • September 26, 2016
  • 01:35 PM
  • 100 views

Why do more men than women commit suicide?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why do more men die when they attempt suicide than women? The answer could lie in four traits, finds scientists. There are over 6,000 British lives lost to suicide each year, and nearly 75 per cent of those are male. However, research has found women are more likely to suffer from depression, and to attempt to take their own life.

... Read more »

Deshpande, G., Baxi, M., Witte, T., & Robinson, J. (2016) A Neural Basis for the Acquired Capability for Suicide. Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00125  

  • September 25, 2016
  • 09:29 PM
  • 98 views

Big news in iPS cell transplants

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

iPS cell-derived retinal cells have been successfully transplanted from one money to another without need of immunosuppressant drugs.... Read more »

  • September 25, 2016
  • 02:57 PM
  • 115 views

Linking perception to action

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action offer a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement.

... Read more »

  • September 22, 2016
  • 03:14 PM
  • 153 views

Historical analysis examines sugar industry role in heart disease research

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using archival documents, a new report examines the sugar industry's role in coronary heart disease research and suggests the industry sponsored research to influence the scientific debate to cast doubt on the hazards of sugar and to promote dietary fat as the culprit in heart disease.

... Read more »

  • September 21, 2016
  • 12:35 PM
  • 127 views

Protect kids from toxic secondhand smoke, experts urge

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It's advice most smokers with children probably take lightly, but they shouldn't. Parents and policy advocates should take a "zero tolerance" approach to exposing children to secondhand cigarette smoke, which can be responsible for lifelong cardiovascular consequences in addition to respiratory and other health issues.

... Read more »

  • September 20, 2016
  • 04:31 PM
  • 141 views

Potentially harmful chemicals widespread in household dust

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Household dust exposes people to a wide range of toxic chemicals from everyday products, according to a new study. A multi-institutional team conducted a first-of-a-kind meta-analysis, compiling data from dust samples collected throughout the United States to identify the top ten toxic chemicals commonly found in dust.

... Read more »

  • September 19, 2016
  • 03:09 PM
  • 144 views

Physicists retrieve 'lost' information from quantum measurements

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Typically when scientists make a measurement, they know exactly what kind of measurement they're making, and their purpose is to obtain a measurement outcome. But in an "unrecorded measurement," both the type of measurement and the measurement outcome are unknown.

... Read more »

Revzen, M., & Mann, A. (2016) Measuring unrecorded measurement. EPL (Europhysics Letters), 115(3), 30005. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/115/30005  

  • September 18, 2016
  • 03:01 PM
  • 142 views

The new findings heart repair research

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists trying to find ways to regenerate a damaged heart have shed more light on the molecular mechanisms that could one day make this a reality. Whilst other organs such as the liver can regenerate, the heart muscle has very little ability to do so after suffering damage, such as a heart attack.
In the womb the body is able to produce heart muscle cells but soon after birth it effectively stops producing them.... Read more »

  • September 17, 2016
  • 01:50 PM
  • 157 views

Largest-ever study reveals environmental impact of genetically modified crops

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

According to new research, widespread adoption of genetically modified crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant. This is the largest study of genetically modified crops and pesticide use to date. The team of economists studied annual data from more than 5,000 soybean and 5,000 maize farmers in the U.S. from 1998 to 2011, far exceeding previous studies that have been limited to one or two years of data.

... Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 09:45 PM
  • 192 views

Contiguity Effective for Deductive Inference

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Even if the benefits of retrieval practice were limited to improvements in recall (as prior research has demonstrated), such improvements do not stand in the way of improvements to higher-order reasoning, such as inference-making. (And shaping the path for students, such as improving informational contiguity can have a positive effect too.)... Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 03:57 PM
  • 160 views

The blur doesn't cut it: AI can identify people in blurred images

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A trio of researchers has found off-the-shelf AI software can be used to identify people in blurred or pixilated images. The researchers have uploaded a paper describing the experiments they carried out with AI software identification of people or other items in blurred out images, what they found and reveal just how accurate they found it could be.

... Read more »

Richard McPherson, Reza Shokri, & Vitaly Shmatikov. (2016) Defeating Image Obfuscation with Deep Learning. arXiv. arXiv: 1609.00408v2

  • September 15, 2016
  • 02:22 PM
  • 181 views

MRI scanner sees emotions flickering across an idle mind

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As you relax and let your mind drift aimlessly, you might remember a pleasant vacation, an angry confrontation in traffic or maybe the loss of a loved one. And now a team of researchers say they can see those various emotional states flickering across the human brain.

... Read more »

  • September 15, 2016
  • 04:41 AM
  • 160 views

How to Hold Scientific Journals Accountable?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Writing in PLoS Biology, neurobiologist Thomas C. Südhof discusses Truth in Science Publishing: A Personal Perspective. Südhof is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford. A veteran scientist, he's been publishing since 1982.

So what's the state of science publishing as Südhof sees it?


He first notes that "scientists, public servants, and patient advocates alike increasingly question the validity of published scientific results, endangering the publi... Read more »

  • September 14, 2016
  • 03:48 PM
  • 183 views

Food waste could store solar and wind energy, or there's the obvious...

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Saving up excess solar and wind energy for times when the sun is down or the air is still requires a storage device. Batteries get the most attention as a promising solution although pumped hydroelectric storage is currently used most often. Now researchers are advancing another potential approach using sugar alcohols—an abundant waste product of the food industry—mixed with carbon nanotubes.

... Read more »

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