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  • May 12, 2016
  • 05:01 PM
  • 126 views

The Smell of the Cinema: Human Chemical Signals?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The air in a cinema contains a chemical cocktail emitted by the audience - and the emotional tone of the movie influences the molecular composition of the cloud.

That's according to a striking set of results from researchers Johnathan Williams and colleagues who took air samples from two 230-seater screens of a cinema in Germany over a period of two weeks.





Here's an example of the chemical trace associated with shows of the movie "The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire", featuring three... Read more »

  • May 9, 2016
  • 01:34 PM
  • 129 views

The Princess IS the Frog (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Hayley TrzinskiImage by Hayley TrzinskiThe Princess and the Frog is a very fun and imaginative children’s story… but not when pesticides are involved. Have you ever wondered how dangerous pesticides can be? Well, pesticides can harm more than just pests and weeds, and in the case of frogs, many pesticides and herbicides are causing problems. Atrazine, a chemical commonly used as an herbicide, can cause reproduction in male African clawed frogs to be impossible. In some cases, atrazine i........ Read more »

Hayes, T., Khoury, V., Narayan, A., Nazir, M., Park, A., Brown, T., Adame, L., Chan, E., Buchholz, D., Stueve, T.... (2010) Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4612-4617. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909519107  

Mnif, W., Hassine, A., Bouaziz, A., Bartegi, A., Thomas, O., & Roig, B. (2011) Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(12), 2265-2303. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8062265  

  • April 6, 2016
  • 05:02 PM
  • 275 views

Uncovering the genetic elements that drive regeneration

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Lose a hand or a leg? It will grow back… oh wait, it won’t, but why not? Trace our evolution — long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs — and you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. There is theoretically no reason why we shouldn’t be able to regenerate, not quite like in the movie Deadpool, but come on, would you really complain at that point?

... Read more »

Kang, J., Hu, J., Karra, R., Dickson, A., Tornini, V., Nachtrab, G., Gemberling, M., Goldman, J., Black, B., & Poss, K. (2016) Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17644  

  • April 4, 2016
  • 03:57 PM
  • 227 views

Your brain has an altered response to desirable foods

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Hungry? Well, let’s face it, that pizza looks much better than the salad. Don’t deny it salad lovers, we all know behind closed doors you look at plenty of food porn to satiate your desires. Understanding the motivations that drive us to eat is important when we talk about weight loss and how we attempt to structure diets. Now a new study shows that for overweight individuals, the brain responses differently to desirable foods., but hold that thought, because there is hope.

... Read more »

  • March 29, 2016
  • 04:31 PM
  • 266 views

Carb-loading and your heart, you may want to put the pasta down…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

So if you are one of the bodybuilders, powerlifters, marathon runners, or just people who like to binge-eat every now and then — no judgment all you can eat pizza day is a thing I’m told telling myself — there is some bad news. If you like to preload carbs like they are the magic bullet to your workout woes, you may want to rethink it because according to a new study, it can have an acute and detrimental effect on heart function.

... Read more »

Arora, P., Wu, C., Hamid, T., Arora, G., Agha, O., Allen, K., Tainsh, R., Hu, D., Ryan, R., Domian, I.... (2016) Acute Metabolic Influences on the Natriuretic Peptide System in Humans. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 67(7), 804-812. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.049  

  • March 23, 2016
  • 03:00 PM
  • 309 views

Prozac in the Water Makes Fighting Fish More Mellow

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Had Teresa Dzieweczynski chosen to publish her recent findings as an updated children's classic, rather than as a research paper, she could have titled it If You Give a Fish an Antidepressant. The book would probably be less charming than If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. But it would also be, unfortunately, more realistic. Our pharmaceuticals are steadily trickling into the homes of fish and other animals. And—as the hero of the original book could have told us, his house in disarray aft........ Read more »

Dzieweczynski, T., Campbell, B., & Kane, J. (2016) Dose-dependent fluoxetine effects on boldness in male Siamese fighting fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(6), 797-804. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.132761  

  • March 17, 2016
  • 03:47 PM
  • 300 views

Preventing Alzheimer’s, with an implant

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer's has been a losing battle, sure we can fight back with drugs, but that still just prolongs the inevitable. With that said we can all hope this research pans out, to something meaningful. In a cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's disease, EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule that can turn the patient's immune system against the disease. Even better, the implant is subdural, not intracranial.

... Read more »

  • March 12, 2016
  • 07:57 AM
  • 299 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 10, 2016
  • 02:50 PM
  • 299 views

Alzheimer’s on and now Alzheimer’s off?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer's disease, is anything more frustrating than seeing someone -- who otherwise looks healthy -- start to forget who you are? Worse than that, we don't know exactly what causes Alzheimer's disease, or how to stop it. Well actually that might be changing. Don't get too excited, because we've had false starts before, but an international group of scientists have succeeded in sorting out the mechanism of Alzheimer's disease development and possibly distinguished its key trigger.

... Read more »

  • March 3, 2016
  • 08:32 AM
  • 354 views

Identifying a shooter by their snot

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I'm Canadian and didn't grow up on a farm or anywhere particularly rural, so it shouldn't be surprising to learn I've never fired a gun. Furthermore, guns are very far down on the list of things I'm interested in learning more about. Yet sometimes tooling around the scientific literature leads to unexpected topics, such as the forensic analysis of gunshot residue. Turns out there's a neat bit of biology involved, and thus we've got ourselves a quick blog post.... Read more »

  • February 29, 2016
  • 07:30 AM
  • 261 views

I love thial-S-oxides so much I cry

by Shane Caldwell in Helical Translations

What exactly is behind the tear-inducing chemical in onions?... Read more »

  • February 25, 2016
  • 03:05 PM
  • 283 views

Grow, coral, grow!

by dominicwhite in Two Degrees or Under

I was just reading this fascinating article published online yesterday in Nature, called “Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification“. The study is investigating what effect ocean acidification is having on reefs, a tricky problem as other confounding...... Read more »

Albright, R., Caldeira, L., Hosfelt, J., Kwiatkowski, L., Maclaren, J., Mason, B., Nebuchina, Y., Ninokawa, A., Pongratz, J., Ricke, K.... (2016) Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17155  

  • February 19, 2016
  • 10:42 AM
  • 349 views

So you want to make methanol? Start with ruthenium and add some air

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The methanol economy is an exciting prospect - create the molecule using CO2 from the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gases and providing liquid fuel at the same time! Researchers have now shown how to create methanol directly from air for the first time.... Read more »

Kothandaraman J, Goeppert A, Czaun M, Olah GA, & Prakash GK. (2016) Conversion of CO2 from Air into Methanol Using a Polyamine and a Homogeneous Ruthenium Catalyst. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(3), 778-81. PMID: 26713663  

  • February 3, 2016
  • 03:06 PM
  • 352 views

Investigating potential fetal exposure to antidepressants

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus’s health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother’s decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice.

... Read more »

  • February 2, 2016
  • 02:13 AM
  • 414 views

Earth = combination of two planets (study shows)

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Earth is actually a combination of two planets, i.e. Earth and Theia, a planet thought to be about the size of Mars.

Published in:

Science

Study Further:

Researchers from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have recently reported that there was a “violent, head-on collision” of Earth and Theia, which is thought to be an ancient planet having the approximate size of Mars or according to some it was about Earth’s size, about 4.5 billion years ag........ Read more »

Young, E., Kohl, I., Warren, P., Rubie, D., Jacobson, S., & Morbidelli, A. (2016) Oxygen isotopic evidence for vigorous mixing during the Moon-forming giant impact. Science, 351(6272), 493-496. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0525  

  • January 31, 2016
  • 07:09 AM
  • 389 views

Coal tar, dyes, and the unlikely origins of psychotherapeutic drugs

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged










While it may be difficult to imagine in a day and age when psychiatric medicines are advertised as a way to treat nearly every mental disorder, only 65 years ago targeted and effective psychiatric medicines were still just an unrealized aspiration. In fact, until the middle of the 20th century, the efficacy and safety of many common approaches to treating mental illness were highly questionable. For example, one method of treating schizophrenia that was common in the 1940s........ Read more »

López-Muñoz, F., Alamo, C., cuenca, E., Shen, W., Clervoy, P., & Rubio, G. (2005) History of the Discovery and Clinical Introduction of Chlorpromazine. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 17(3), 113-135. DOI: 10.1080/10401230591002002  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 08:39 AM
  • 359 views

The power of poop: revolutionizing wastewater treatment

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A commentary in Nature proposes a complete overhaul of how we treat our wastewater. Among the benefits would be new energy-producing industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!... Read more »

Li, W., Yu, H., & Rittmann, B. (2015) Chemistry: Reuse water pollutants. Nature, 528(7580), 29-31. DOI: 10.1038/528029a  

  • January 28, 2016
  • 09:29 AM
  • 321 views

Help me, neighbor!

by ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

We all have neighbors who help us in our hour of need. Some go out of the way as well. In enzymes too, it seems, that neighbors play a crucial role. Lafond et al in their recent publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry report the invovlement of neighboring chains of the same enzyme, lichenase. Apart from the role of stabilizing the quarternary structure (a trimer), they are also invovled in the enzymatic activity.... Read more »

Lafond M, Sulzenbacher G, Freyd T, Henrissat B, Berrin JG, & Garron ML. (2016) the quaternary structure of a glycoside hydrolase dictates specificity towards beta-glucans. The Journal of biological chemistry. PMID: 26755730  

  • January 22, 2016
  • 10:21 AM
  • 358 views

When good intentions don't mix: designing policy to stop global warming and improve clean cookware access

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Carbon fees are a tremendous policy tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But what is their effect on other public health missions, like providing cleaner cookware to the poor in developing countries. We take a look at new research designing policy to meet both public health needs.... Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 06:06 AM
  • 423 views

Dear kids, don't eat that falling snow...

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Snow falling in urban areas could be toxic for human beings due to the presence of dangerous chemicals and pollutants coming from cars and industries.

Published in:

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

Study Further:

Beauty can be dangerous and recent research is showing the same, i.e. beautiful and pure snowflakes can be dangerous. Researchers have found that snowflakes are not as clean as they may appear. They reported that snow falling, especially in cities, h........ Read more »

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