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  • June 7, 2016
  • 11:21 AM
  • 496 views

EU Puts Forward Ambitious Open Access Target

by Nesru Koroso in United Academics

All publicly-funded research to be fully accessible by 2020.... Read more »

  • June 6, 2016
  • 01:52 PM
  • 491 views

The truth is out there: Scientists unlock X-Files DNA mystery

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists have unlocked a crucial part of the mystery as to how our DNA can replicate and repair itself - something which is essential for all life forms. The new research has revealed how branched DNA molecules are removed from the iconic double-helical structure -a process which scientists have been looking to unlock for over 20 years.

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AlMalki, F., Flemming, C., Zhang, J., Feng, M., Sedelnikova, S., Ceska, T., Rafferty, J., Sayers, J., & Artymiuk, P. (2016) Direct observation of DNA threading in flap endonuclease complexes. Nature Structural . DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3241  

  • June 6, 2016
  • 12:36 PM
  • 782 views

Love, War and Genital Shape

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

The size and shape of your junk may depend on how much sex your ancestors had… that is, at least, if you are a burying beetle. Buring beetles caught in the act. Photo by Jena Johnson. Burying beetles are unusual among insects in that they provide parental care and are often monogamous. When burying beetle pairs find a small dead bird or rodent, they pluck it bald, coat it in antibacterial and antifungal body secretions, and dig a hole around it. The female lays her eggs around the carcass-ba........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2016
  • 02:55 PM
  • 579 views

Zika virus directly infects brain cells and evades immune system detection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to microcephaly and other neurological problems in newborns of affected mothers directly infects the brain progenitor cells destined to become neurons. The team of researchers used a strain of Zika currently impacting the Americas, and found that the virus infects about 20 percent of cells on average, evades immune system detection, and continues to replicate for weeks.

... Read more »

  • June 3, 2016
  • 11:43 AM
  • 533 views

Anonymising and sharing patient data

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Patient data is extremely valuable for biomedical and healthcare research. Collecting and sharing patient data globally can lead to several benefits such as better understanding diseases, identifying patterns in public health and disease, developing and monotoring drugs and treatments, allowing researchers to build on the work of others efficiently and finding suitable candidates to take part in clinical trials. However, concerns about privacy have been a barrier for making patient data availabl........ Read more »

El Emam K, Rodgers S, & Malin B. (2015) Anonymising and sharing individual patient data. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25794882  

  • June 1, 2016
  • 03:30 PM
  • 504 views

New muscular dystrophy drug target identified

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists have discovered that muscle cells affected by muscular dystrophy contain high levels of an enzyme that impairs muscle repair. This finding provides a new target for potential drug treatments for the disease, which currently has no cure. Muscular dystrophy (MD) is an inherited genetic condition that gradually causes a weakening of muscles.

... Read more »

  • June 1, 2016
  • 02:43 AM
  • 509 views

Organ regeneration in the lab

by jens wilkinson in It Ain't Magic

Interview with Takashi Tsuji, team leader of the Laboratory for Organ Regeneration at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology... Read more »

Takagi, R., Ishimaru, J., Sugawara, A., Toyoshima, K., Ishida, K., Ogawa, M., Sakakibara, K., Asakawa, K., Kashiwakura, A., Oshima, M.... (2016) Bioengineering a 3D integumentary organ system from iPS cells using an in vivo transplantation model. Science Advances, 2(4). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500887  

  • May 31, 2016
  • 03:33 AM
  • 575 views

Of mice and NREM: In this brain circuit, memories depend on sleep

by neuroamanda in It Ain't Magic

Neuroamanda explains a recent study that showed how top-down signals during NREM sleep affect memory consolidation in mice.... Read more »

Miyamoto, D., Hirai, D., Fung, C., Inutsuka, A., Odagawa, M., Suzuki, T., Boehringer, R., Adaikkan, C., Matsubara, C., Matsuki, N.... (2016) Top-down cortical input during NREM sleep consolidates perceptual memory. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0902  

  • May 30, 2016
  • 04:22 PM
  • 533 views

Google searches for 'chickenpox' reveal big impact of vaccinations

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Countries that implement government-mandated vaccinations for chickenpox see a sharp drop in the number of Google searches for the common childhood disease afterward, demonstrating that immunization significantly reduces seasonal outbreaks. That's one of the findings from a new study that analyzed thousands of Google searches for "chickenpox."

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Bakker, K. M.,, Martinez-Bakker, M., Helm, B., & Stevenson, T. J. (2016) Digital epidemiology reveals global childhood disease seasonality and the effects of immunization . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/

  • May 30, 2016
  • 03:54 PM
  • 727 views

The Harm of Verbal Promiscuity

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Eastern chimpanzees don't want to be judged. Image by Ikiwaner at Wikimedia.com.Whether they have one true love for life, multiple partners, or are free-loving, animals have many different mating systems. We have different scientific terms for these different mating systems, and most of these terms have very specific meanings. An animal is socially monogamous when it has one exclusive mating relationship, but maybe has sex with others outside of that relationship. It is sexually monogamous when ........ Read more »

Elgar, M., Jones, T., & McNamara, K. (2013) Promiscuous words. Frontiers in Zoology, 10(1), 66. DOI: 10.1186/1742-9994-10-66  

  • May 29, 2016
  • 03:30 PM
  • 522 views

Why everyone wants to help the sick -- but not the unemployed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research explains why healthcare costs are running out of control, while costs to unemployment protection are kept in line. The answer is found deep in our psychology, where powerful intuitions lead us to view illness as the result of bad luck and worthy of help.

... Read more »

  • May 28, 2016
  • 03:45 PM
  • 548 views

Schizophrenia: The brain has the ability to rescue itself

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of scientists have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show that our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia.

... Read more »

  • May 27, 2016
  • 03:40 PM
  • 602 views

How the brain makes -- and breaks -- a habit

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. It's a good thing, for example, that we can find our way home on "autopilot" or wash our hands without having to ponder every step. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders.

... Read more »

Christina M. Gremel,, Jessica H. Chancey,, Brady K. Atwood,, Guoxiang Luo,, Rachael Neve,, Charu Ramakrishnan,, Karl Deisseroth,, David M. Lovinger, & Rui M. Costa. (2016) Endocannabinoid Modulation of Orbitostriatal Circuits Gates Habit Formation. Neuron. info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.04.043

  • May 25, 2016
  • 04:00 PM
  • 798 views

Humiliation from stares are worse than tiny seats for obese air travelers

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Feelings of shame and humiliation bother obese air passengers more than tight seat belts and tiny seats, according to a study published by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers. Participants interviewed for the study recounted the typical challenges they encounter while boarding, in-flight and deplaning.

... Read more »

Yaniv Poria, & Jeremy Beal. (2016) An Exploratory Study about Obese People’s Flight Experience . Journal of travel research. info:/10.1177/0047287516643416

  • May 25, 2016
  • 03:33 PM
  • 637 views

Open Access reviewed: stricter criteria preserve credibility

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The most comprehensive index of open access journals, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), reviewed its inclusion criteria, in view of allegations of the presence of predatory journals. This restructuring will lead to more than 3,000 journals to be removed from the database. DOAJ, besides advocating Open Access, established, in collaboration with COPE, OASPA and WAME, a code of principles and good practices in scientific publishing. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 24, 2016
  • 01:14 PM
  • 778 views

Raising The Standards Of Open Access Journals

by Nesru Koroso in United Academics

The Directory of Open Access Journals bans dubious journals from its index.... Read more »

  • May 24, 2016
  • 11:59 AM
  • 682 views

A critical comment on “Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility”

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Psychological science is surprisingly difficult to replicate (Open Science Collaboration, 2015). Researchers are desperate to find out why. A new study in the prestigious journal PNAS (Van Bavel et al., 2016) claims unknown contextual factors of psychological phenomena (“hidden moderators”) are to blame. The more an effect is sensitive to unknown contextual factors, the less […]... Read more »

Dreber, A., Pfeiffer, T., Almenberg, J., Isaksson, S., Wilson, B., Chen, Y., Nosek, B., & Johannesson, M. (2015) Using prediction markets to estimate the reproducibility of scientific research. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(50), 15343-15347. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516179112  

Van Bavel, J.J., Mende-Siedlecki, P., Brady, W.J., & Reinero, D.A. (2016) Contextual sensitivity in scientific reproducibility. PNAS. info:/

  • May 24, 2016
  • 10:02 AM
  • 797 views

Should Biologists be Guided by Beauty?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

One key characteristic of a beautiful scientific theory is the simplicity of the underlying concepts. According to Weinberg, Einstein's theory of gravitation is described in fourteen equations whereas Newton's theory can be expressed in three. Despite the appearance of greater complexity in Einstein's theory, Weinberg finds it more beautiful than Newton's theory because the Einsteinian approach rests on one elegant central principle – the equivalence of gravitation and ........ Read more »

Dietrich, M., Ankeny, R., & Chen, P. (2014) Publication Trends in Model Organism Research. Genetics, 198(3), 787-794. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.169714  

Weinberg, Steven. (1992) Dreams of a Final Theory . Vintage Books. info:/

  • May 23, 2016
  • 04:13 PM
  • 530 views

Extreme beliefs often mistaken for insanity, new study finds

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the aftermath of violent acts such as mass shootings, many people assume mental illness is the cause. After studying the 2011 case of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, researchers are suggesting a new forensic term to classify non-psychotic behavior that leads to criminal acts of violence.

... Read more »

Rahman T, Resnick PJ, & Harry B. (2016) Anders Breivik: Extreme Beliefs Mistaken for Psychosis. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44(1), 28-35. PMID: 26944741  

  • May 22, 2016
  • 04:04 PM
  • 524 views

How depression and antidepressant drugs work

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Treating depression is kind of a guessing game. Trying to find a medication that works without causing side effects can take months, or more likely, years. However, new research demonstrates the effectiveness of ketamine to treat depression in a mouse model of the disease and brings together two hypotheses for the cause of depression.

... Read more »

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