The whole of human intelligence, right at your fingertips. Sure it might not make the layman an engineer or physicist, but if we want to learn about a particular topic the internet can give us that information. But you better hold on tight before you lose it. New research finds retweeting or otherwise sharing information creates a “cognitive overload” that interferes with learning and retaining what you’ve just seen.
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Jiang, T., Hou, Y., & Wang, Q. (2016) Does micro-blogging make us “shallow”? Sharing information online interferes with information comprehension. Computers in Human Behavior, 210-214. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.008
Human behavioral scientists argue that extra-pair copulation is adaptive in human females, as through extra-pair copulation, women can acquire good genes from other potential mates. This is suggested because it is found that women experience greater sexual attraction to particular extra-pair men, but not their own partners, during their highest peak of fertility (Gangestad & […]... Read more »
Greeff, J., & Erasmus, J. (2015) Three hundred years of low non-paternity in a human population. Heredity, 115(5), 396-404. DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2015.36
Treating immune disorders might have gotten easier with a new mouse model.... Read more »
Beura, L., Hamilton, S., Bi, K., Schenkel, J., Odumade, O., Casey, K., Thompson, E., Fraser, K., Rosato, P., Filali-Mouhim, A.... (2016) Normalizing the environment recapitulates adult human immune traits in laboratory mice. Nature, 532(7600), 512-516. DOI: 10.1038/nature17655
Mestas, J., & Hughes, C. (2004) Of Mice and Not Men: Differences between Mouse and Human Immunology. The Journal of Immunology, 172(5), 2731-2738. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.172.5.2731
Signatures of Mutational Processes Extracted from the Mutational Catalogs of 21 Breast Cancer Genomes. Credit:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2012.12.008Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths each year (Source: WHO). A family history of cancer typically increases a person's risk of developing the disease, yet most cancer cases have no family history at all. This suggests that a combination of both ge........ Read more »
Alexandrov LB, Nik-Zainal S, Wedge DC, Aparicio SA, Behjati S, Biankin AV, Bignell GR, Bolli N, Borg A, Børresen-Dale AL.... (2013) Signatures of mutational processes in human cancer. Nature, 500(7463), 415-21. PMID: 23945592
Alexandrov LB, Nik-Zainal S, Siu HC, Leung SY, & Stratton MR. (2015) A mutational signature in gastric cancer suggests therapeutic strategies. Nature communications, 8683. PMID: 26511885
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
It’s time to run down some articles that are curious, but not substantial enough to justify a full blog post. Once again, we have kept a few pearls in our virtual filing cabinet, and have combined them here for your curiosity and possibly entertainment. This is one of those combination posts that will offer you […]
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale
Red, redux: Men won’t pay attention to Tammy in red
Does this mean we need to pay no attention to 1 in 10 research f........ Read more »
Roberts, J., & David, M. (2016) My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone: Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners. Computers in Human Behavior, 134-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.058
Drug Discovery, Part III
How is a an Initial Hit optimised and turned into a Lead Compound?... Read more »
They say you should never mix business and pleasure but in reality many of us find that we become friends with the people who we work with. No wonder, when you consider the hours spent together and the deep bonds formed through collaboration and sharing the highs and lows of the job.A new study in Personnel Psychology is among the first to examine the effects on job performance of having more "multiplex relationships" – colleagues you work with directly who are also your friends outside of wor........ Read more »
Methot, J., Lepine, J., Podsakoff, N., & Christian, J. (2016) Are Workplace Friendships a Mixed Blessing? Exploring Tradeoffs of Multiplex Relationships and their Associations with Job Performance. Personnel Psychology, 69(2), 311-355. DOI: 10.1111/peps.12109
"Children with higher urinary DMP [dimethylphosphate] concentrations may have a twofold to threefold increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]."So said the results presented in the paper by Yu and colleagues  who looking at "97 doctor-diagnosed ADHD cases and 110 non-ADHD controls who were 4-15 years of age" examined urine and blood samples for various factors including "biomarkers of OP [organophosphate] pesticide exposure." Th........ Read more »
Yu CJ, Du JC, Chiou HC, Chung MY, Yang W, Chen YS, Fuh MR, Chien LC, Hwang B, & Chen ML. (2016) Increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder associated with exposure to organophosphate pesticide in Taiwanese children. Andrology. PMID: 27070915
Coronaviruses (CoV) are positive sense RNA viruses with a genome size of 29-32 kb with four genera (Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma- and Delta CoV) belonging to the family of the Coronaviridae within the order of Nidovirales, with the Betacoronaviruses further divided into four lineages (A-D).
Most CoV identified until now are causing severe disease only in animals including agricultural important animals such as chicken, cattle, and pigs. To date only six human CoV (HCoV) have been identified, namely ........ Read more »
Chan JF, Lau SK, To KK, Cheng VC, Woo PC, & Yuen KY. (2015) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: another zoonotic betacoronavirus causing SARS-like disease. Clinical microbiology reviews, 28(2), 465-522. PMID: 25810418
Han HJ, Yu H, & Yu XJ. (2016) Evidence for zoonotic origins of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The Journal of general virology, 97(2), 274-80. PMID: 26572912
Han, H., Wen, H., Zhou, C., Chen, F., Luo, L., Liu, J., & Yu, X. (2015) Bats as reservoirs of severe emerging infectious diseases. Virus Research, 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2015.05.006
Wong LY, Lui PY, & Jin DY. (2016) A molecular arms race between host innate antiviral response and emerging human coronaviruses. Virologica Sinica, 31(1), 12-23. PMID: 26786772
Lin R, Heylbroeck C, Pitha PM, & Hiscott J. (1998) Virus-dependent phosphorylation of the IRF-3 transcription factor regulates nuclear translocation, transactivation potential, and proteasome-mediated degradation. Molecular and cellular biology, 18(5), 2986-96. PMID: 9566918
Yang XL, Hu B, Wang B, Wang MN, Zhang Q, Zhang W, Wu LJ, Ge XY, Zhang YZ, Daszak P.... (2015) Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Bat Coronavirus Closely Related to the Direct Progenitor of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Journal of virology, 90(6), 3253-6. PMID: 26719272
Menachery VD, Yount BL Jr, Sims AC, Debbink K, Agnihothram SS, Gralinski LE, Graham RL, Scobey T, Plante JA, Royal SR.... (2016) SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26976607
Munster, V., Adney, D., van Doremalen, N., Brown, V., Miazgowicz, K., Milne-Price, S., Bushmaker, T., Rosenke, R., Scott, D., Hawkinson, A.... (2016) Replication and shedding of MERS-CoV in Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis). Scientific Reports, 21878. DOI: 10.1038/srep21878
Yang Y, Ye F, Zhu N, Wang W, Deng Y, Zhao Z, & Tan W. (2015) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus ORF4b protein inhibits type I interferon production through both cytoplasmic and nuclear targets. Scientific reports, 17554. PMID: 26631542
Siu KL, Kok KH, Ng MH, Poon VK, Yuen KY, Zheng BJ, & Jin DY. (2009) Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus M protein inhibits type I interferon production by impeding the formation of TRAF3.TANK.TBK1/IKKepsilon complex. The Journal of biological chemistry, 284(24), 16202-9. PMID: 19380580
Matthews, K., Schäfer, A., Pham, A., & Frieman, M. (2014) The SARS coronavirus papain like protease can inhibit IRF3 at a post activation step that requires deubiquitination activity. Virology Journal, 11(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12985-014-0209-9
Siu, K., Yeung, M., Kok, K., Yuen, K., Kew, C., Lui, P., Chan, C., Tse, H., Woo, P., Yuen, K.... (2014) Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 4a Protein Is a Double-Stranded RNA-Binding Protein That Suppresses PACT-Induced Activation of RIG-I and MDA5 in the Innate Antiviral Response. Journal of Virology, 88(9), 4866-4876. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03649-13
Lui PY, Wong LY, Fung CL, Siu KL, Yeung ML, Yuen KS, Chan CP, Woo PC, Yuen KY, & Jin DY. (2016) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus M protein suppresses type I interferon expression through the inhibition of TBK1-dependent phosphorylation of IRF3. Emerging microbes . PMID: 27094905
Matthews KL, Coleman CM, van der Meer Y, Snijder EJ, & Frieman MB. (2014) The ORF4b-encoded accessory proteins of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and two related bat coronaviruses localize to the nucleus and inhibit innate immune signalling. The Journal of general virology, 95(Pt 4), 874-82. PMID: 24443473
Thornbrough JM, Jha BK, Yount B, Goldstein SA, Li Y, Elliott R, Sims AC, Baric RS, Silverman RH, & Weiss SR. (2016) Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus NS4b Protein Inhibits Host RNase L Activation. mBio, 7(2). PMID: 27025250
Li Y, Banerjee S, Wang Y, Goldstein SA, Dong B, Gaughan C, Silverman RH, & Weiss SR. (2016) Activation of RNase L is dependent on OAS3 expression during infection with diverse human viruses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(8), 2241-6. PMID: 26858407
Banerjee S, Chakrabarti A, Jha BK, Weiss SR, & Silverman RH. (2014) Cell-type-specific effects of RNase L on viral induction of beta interferon. mBio, 5(2). PMID: 24570368
Malathi, K., Dong, B., Gale, M., & Silverman, R. (2007) Small self-RNA generated by RNase L amplifies antiviral innate immunity. Nature, 448(7155), 816-819. DOI: 10.1038/nature06042
Shao Q, Xu W, Guo Q, Yan L, Rui L, Liu J, Zhao Y, & Li Z. (2015) RIG-I from waterfowl and mammals differ in their abilities to induce antiviral responses against influenza A viruses. The Journal of general virology, 96(Pt 2), 277-87. PMID: 25371516
Xu W, Shao Q, Zang Y, Guo Q, Zhang Y, & Li Z. (2015) Pigeon RIG-I Function in Innate Immunity against H9N2 IAV and IBDV. Viruses, 7(7), 4131-51. PMID: 26205406
Neuroscientists have a schizophrenic view of how neurons. On the one hand, we say, neurons are ultra-efficient and are as precise as possible in their encoding of the world. On the other hand, neurons are pretty noisy, with the variability in … Continue reading →... Read more »
The paper introducing our new tree visualisation tool Phylo.io was just published in MBE.
Yet another tool to display trees, you might say, and indeed, so it is. But for all the tools that have been developed over the years, there are very few that scale to large trees, make it easy to compare trees side-by-side, and simply run in a browser on any computer or mobile device.
To fill this gap, we created Phylo.io.
Story behind the paper
The project started as a student summer internshi........ Read more »
Robinson, O., Dylus, D., & Dessimoz, C. (2016) Phyla.io: interactive viewing and comparison of large phylogenetic trees on the web . Molecular Biology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw080
It was the summer of 1882, and grape farmers in the Médoc region of southwest France (north of Bordeaux, on the Atlantic coast) had a problem.Schoolchildren (or university students, or just anyone travelling the roads along which the grapevines grew, depending on what source you're reading) were pilfering their grapes. To try and ward them off, some farmers decided to dissolve some slaked lime and copper sulfate in water and spray it on their grapevines closest to the roads. The idea was... Read more »
Pimentel J, & Marques F. (1969) 'Vineyard sprayer's lung': A new occupational disease. Thorax, 24(6), 678-688. DOI: 10.1136/thx.24.6.678
I recently pointed out that the widespread belief that migrants refuse to learn the language of their new country does not stack up against the realities of adult language learning. I summarized the research that shows that adult language learning is complex and difficult and rarely an all-out success; to blame migrants for their failure to learn a new language (well) is adding insult to injury.
The German-language club (“Stammtisch”) in New York founded by G........ Read more »
Azuélos, D. (2008) L'exil dans l'exil Les stratégies linguistiques contradictoires des exilés aux États-Unis (Thomas Mann, Klaus Mann, Hans Sahl, Oskar Maria Graf). Études Germaniques, 252(4), 723. DOI: 10.3917/eger.252.0723
Back in 2013, I wondered if we would ever discover the neural basis of spontaneous thoughts. Why, I asked, do certain ideas just "pop" into our minds at particular times? Now a new paper published in Neuroimage, Canadian neuroscientists Melissa Ellamil and colleagues reports on the neural basis of spontaneous thoughts.
Ellamil et al. recruited a group of 18 volunteers, all of whom were highly experienced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. These individuals were selected, the authors... Read more »
Ellamil M, Fox KC, Dixon ML, Pritchard S, Todd RM, Thompson E, & Christoff K. (2016) Dynamics of neural recruitment surrounding the spontaneous arising of thoughts in experienced mindfulness practitioners. NeuroImage. PMID: 27114056
"Parents ultimately wanted therapists to produce positive outcomes for their children and were willing to sacrifice other desired qualities, as long as the therapy program was effective."and"The SLPs [Speech-Language Pathologists] expressed strong support for evidence-based practice (EBP) and indicated that they thought parents expected their children would be provided with evidence-based interventions."Those quotes come from two papers recently published in the same journal; the first........ Read more »
Edwards, A., Brebner, C., Mccormack, P., & Macdougall, C. (2016) “More than blowing bubbles”: What parents want from therapists working with children with autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-13. DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2015.1112835
Trembath, D., Hawtree, R., Arciuli, J., & Caithness, T. (2016) What do speech-language pathologists think parents expect when treating their children with autism spectrum disorder?. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-9. DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2016.1139625
Why does one person who tries cocaine get addicted, while another might use it and then leave it alone? Why do some people who kick a drug habit manage to stay clean, while others relapse? And why do some families seem more prone to addiction than others? According to a new study, the road to answering these questions may have a lot to do with specific genetic factors that vary from individual to individual.
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Flagel, S., Chaudhury, S., Waselus, M., Kelly, R., Sewani, S., Clinton, S., Thompson, R., Watson, S., & Akil, H. (2016) Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201520491. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1520491113
Happiness. It’s something we all strive for, but how do we measure it — as a country? A global community? Not so surprisingly, researchers are turning to social media to answer these questions and more. In a newly published study, computer scientists used two years of Twitter data to measure users’ life satisfaction, a component of happiness.
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Yang, C., & Srinivasan, P. (2016) Life Satisfaction and the Pursuit of Happiness on Twitter. PLOS ONE, 11(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150881
Sometimes at the climax of a Star Trek episode, the captain would yell out "Battle stations!" and send the crew scurrying frantically through the corridors. It wasn't really clear what those battle stations were. Presumably, crew members headed to posts they'd been previously assigned, and this let the whole ship react to the crisis efficiently.
Certain ants respond to a crisis by binding their bodies together into floating rafts. And like the Star Trek crew, they seem to have designat........ Read more »
Avril, A., Purcell, J., & Chapuisat, M. (2016) Ant workers exhibit specialization and memory during raft formation. The Science of Nature, 103(5-6). DOI: 10.1007/s00114-016-1360-5
We know that diet, exercise and low-stress life will keep the heart healthy. But sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. Thanks to more coordinated, faster emergency response and improved treatment, heart attacks aren't as deadly as they used to be. But survivors still face a substantial risk of further cardiovascular events. How to restore after a heart attack and prevent another one? What to do besides obvious things such as taking medications, reducing stress, calories, avoidin........ Read more »
Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, Forman JP, Hu FB, Willett WC, Rexrode KM, Mukamal KJ, & Rimm EB. (2014) Low carbohydrate diet from plant or animal sources and mortality among myocardial infarction survivors. Journal of the American Heart Association, 3(5). PMID: 25246449
Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, Forman JP, Hu FB, Willett WC, Rexrode KM, Mukamal KJ, & Rimm EB. (2014) Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 24782515
Science – and science blogging – can help animal welfare in important ways.We wish our companion animals to lead a charmed life and always be happy. We want our dogs and cats to have a wonderful relationship with us. But we can’t achieve this if we don’t know what they need and how we should interact with them.Last year, some readers took part in a survey of who reads science blogs. The preliminary results are out, and it’s got me thinking about why science – and science blogging –........ Read more »
Gershoff, E., & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2016) Spanking and Child Outcomes: Old Controversies and New Meta-Analyses. Journal of Family Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/fam0000191
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