Post List

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:40 PM
  • 5 views

Autism, SSRIs, and Epidemiology 101

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

I can understand the eagerness with which science writers jump on stories that deal with new findings about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). After all, the mystery surrounding the rapid increase in ASD rates over the past 20 years (see right) has made any ASD-related study that may offer some clues inherently interesting. Because people are anxiously awaiting some explanation of this medical enigma, it seems like science writers almost have an obligation to discuss new findings concerning the c........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 09:15 PM
  • 4 views

Removal of crop residue for biofuels increases CO2 emissions

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A computational study has shown that removal of residue from crop fields increases CO2 emissions... Read more »

Liska, A., Yang, H., Milner, M., Goddard, S., Blanco-Canqui, H., Pelton, M., Fang, X., Zhu, H., & Suyker, A. (2014) Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2187  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 06:04 PM
  • 7 views

SARS-CoV v. MERS-CoV: differences and similarities, what do we know?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Coronaviruses are important animal and human pathogens and are the causative agent of 30-40% community acquired upper respiratory tract infections, most of them mild diseases. Besides relatively benign infections, the infection of infants and children has been implicated in some cases to acute asthmatic attacks and the onset of croup (whizzing cough). With the identification of SARS-CoV in 2003 became associated with more severe pulmonary disease particularly in immunocompromised individuals. T........ Read more »

Barlan A, Zhao J, Sarkar MK, Li K, McCray PB Jr, Perlman S, & Gallagher T. (2014) Receptor variation and susceptibility to middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection. Journal of virology, 88(9), 4953-61. PMID: 24554656  

Raj, V., Mou, H., Smits, S., Dekkers, D., Müller, M., Dijkman, R., Muth, D., Demmers, J., Zaki, A., Fouchier, R.... (2013) Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 is a functional receptor for the emerging human coronavirus-EMC. Nature, 495(7440), 251-254. DOI: 10.1038/nature12005  

Chu KH, Tsang WK, Tang CS, Lam MF, Lai FM, To KF, Fung KS, Tang HL, Yan WW, Chan HW.... (2005) Acute renal impairment in coronavirus-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome. Kidney international, 67(2), 698-705. PMID: 15673319  

Roper, R., & Rehm, K. (2009) SARS vaccines: where are we?. Expert Review of Vaccines, 8(7), 887-898. DOI: 10.1586/erv.09.43  

Payne DC, Iblan I, Alqasrawi S, Al Nsour M, Rha B, Tohme RA, Abedi GR, Farag NH, Haddadin A, Al Sanhouri T.... (2014) Stillbirth During Infection With Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. The Journal of infectious diseases. PMID: 24474813  

Drosten, C. (2013) Is MERS another SARS?. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 13(9), 727-728. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70159-2  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 02:56 PM
  • 14 views

Polar Opposites? The Social Construction of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders


Some might argue that bulimia nervosa is more “hidden” than anorexia nervosa — it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from bulimia (though, I would argue, it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from any eating disorder). Even when it is “discovered,” BN is often placed in opposition with AN — as if the two were polar opposites.
Indeed, attempts to define a phenotype (a set of observable traits or characteristics) for AN and BN tend to oppose the ........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 01:42 PM
  • 12 views

Most Efficient Thermoelectric Material Created

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Northwestern University scientists have discovered a material—tin selenide—that is, according to a press release, “the best in the world at converting waste heat to useful electricity.”... Read more »

Zhao, L., Lo, S., Zhang, Y., Sun, H., Tan, G., Uher, C., Wolverton, C., Dravid, V., & Kanatzidis, M. (2014) Ultralow thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric figure of merit in SnSe crystals. Nature, 508(7496), 373-377. DOI: 10.1038/nature13184  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:22 AM
  • 13 views

Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

No matter how rough a winter you think you had, it was nothing compared to what a wood frog survives every year. Some of these little amphibians are still waiting for spring, when they’ll thaw out and turn from frog-shaped blocks of ice back into animals. Recently, scientists took a close look at wood frogs […]The post Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Larson DJ, Middle L, Vu H, Zhang W, Serianni AS, Duman J, & Barnes BM. (2014) Wood frog adaptations to overwintering in Alaska: New limits to freezing tolerance. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 24737762  

  • April 22, 2014
  • 10:21 AM
  • 22 views

Religious Belief Linked to Brain Cortex Thickness

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I reviewed a longitudinal study of religious belief and major depression.This study by Lisa Miller and colleagues found a reduced risk of depression in subjects who rated religious belief or spirituality as an important factor in their lives.Reduction in depression risk with religiosity/spirituality was largest (90% smaller risk) in those with a family history of depression.This correlation may not be causal and may be explained by some common third factor between religion an........ Read more »

  • April 22, 2014
  • 04:22 AM
  • 24 views

Are Neuroimaging researchers headed the Sheldon Cooper way?

by Harsha Radhakrishnan in United Academics

The ultimate goal of all these projects is to be able to reconstruct the human brain – have a definitive computer model or a database of every neuron and its cell type and the connections between each individual cell. Is this feasible?... Read more »

Oh SW, Harris JA, Ng L, Winslow B, Cain N, Mihalas S, Wang Q, Lau C, Kuan L, Henry AM.... (2014) A mesoscale connectome of the mouse brain. Nature, 508(7495), 207-14. PMID: 24695228  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:27 PM
  • 37 views

Daylight Savings is a Public Health Concern. Who is responsible? The circadian system or sleep homeostat?

by Allison in Dormivigilia

A study published in 2013 did a US examination of the risk for heart attack from falling back or springing forward (Daylight Savings). The results mirror those of a landmark study on the subject. But neither study seems to think that disruption of circadian rhythms is responsible, but rather that one hour of precious sleep lost or gained...... Read more »

Jiddou MR, Pica M, Boura J, Qu L, & Franklin BA. (2013) Incidence of myocardial infarction with shifts to and from daylight savings time. The American journal of cardiology, 111(5), 631-5. PMID: 23228926  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 04:03 PM
  • 24 views

Pyrolysis Biofuel Production Process Simplified

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Innovations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are bringing researchers one step closer to developing “green” biofuel production systems farmers can use to meet on-farm energy needs, or to produce renewable fuels for commercial markets.... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 03:00 PM
  • 31 views

EASTER CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS: THE POWER OF POLYPHENOLS

by Alex Giffen in Antisense Science

The health benefits of chocolate explained this Easter... Read more »

Katz, D., Doughty, K., & Ali, A. (2011) Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxidants , 15(10), 2779-2811. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697  

Franco R, Oñatibia-Astibia A, & Martínez-Pinilla E. (2013) Health benefits of methylxanthines in cacao and chocolate. Nutrients, 5(10), 4159-73. PMID: 24145871  

Selmi C, Cocchi CA, Lanfredini M, Keen CL, & Gershwin ME. (2008) Chocolate at heart: the anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols. Molecular nutrition , 52(11), 1340-8. PMID: 18991246  

Ellam S, & Williamson G. (2013) Cocoa and human health. Annual review of nutrition, 105-28. PMID: 23642199  

  • April 21, 2014
  • 12:47 PM
  • 28 views

X-Rays Help Understand High-Temperature Superconductivity

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A new study pins down a major factor behind the appearance of laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity in a promising copper-oxide material.... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 35 views

Rethinking anger on the road to peace

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

Cognitive reappraisal, a technique for reinterpreting negative emotions in a more balanced or detached way, may have come across as a weak link in the mental modification toolkit last week: it did not succeed in making people more compassionate, and in fact seemed to make it easier for people to push away any guilt about taking a more selfish path. But while cognitive appraisal might not make people more altruistic, that reevaluation of emotion can make people less angry, and therefore more forg........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 07:18 AM
  • 52 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week PLOS ONE published an interesting study on rhythm, groove and syncopation that uses an often criticized methodology: questionnaire and web-based research...... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • April 21, 2014
  • 05:15 AM
  • 35 views

Lathosterolosis, cholesterol and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although intrigued by the findings reported by Pier Luigi Calvo and colleagues [1] describing a "unique case" potentially linking liver functions and cognitive functions with a hat-tip to the presentation of autistic behaviours, I'll readily admit that I am way out of my comfort and competence zones when discussing this paper so please be ready with that pinch of salt.How do you like your eggs in the morning? @ Wikipedia As per what the paper and accompanying press release (see he........ Read more »

Calvo, P., Brunati, A., Spada, M., Romagnoli, R., Corso, G., Parenti, G., Rossi, M., Baldi, M., Carbonaro, G., David, E.... (2014) Liver Transplantation in Defects of Cholesterol Biosynthesis: The Case of Lathosterolosis. American Journal of Transplantation. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.12645  

  • April 20, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 40 views

Cross-validation in finance, psychology, and political science

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

A large chunk of machine learning (although not all of it) is concerned with predictive modeling, usually in the form of designing an algorithm that takes in some data set and returns an algorithm (or sometimes, a description of an algorithm) for making predictions based on future data. In terminology more friendly to the philosophy […]... Read more »

  • April 20, 2014
  • 03:34 PM
  • 81 views

420: How Marijuana Messes With the Brain

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Cannabis use has previously been associated with cognitive impairment, and Smith et al. (2013) showed that heavy marijuana use was associated with poor working memory and brain abnormalities. Now, Gilman et al. (2014) propose that even casual use of marijuana is associated with such negative effects. Is this an issue of correlation/causation, of funding bias, or are the world's weed smokers really in neurological danger? In this post, in celebration of 4/20, I provide context for the recent........ Read more »

Meier, M., Caspi, A., Ambler, A., Harrington, H., Houts, R., Keefe, R., McDonald, K., Ward, A., Poulton, R., & Moffitt, T. (2012) Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(40). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1206820109  

  • April 20, 2014
  • 09:31 AM
  • 64 views

Was Lamarck right after all? A look at epigenetic inheritance

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Myths © EEGFrom the Wikipedia definition of epigenetics: "In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene activity that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence."Wait a minute... how can we inherit anything that's not encoded in the DNA? All the information we inherit from our parents is coded in the DNA ... Right?That's correct. However, there's something very important that goes hand in hand with the information contained in the genes: how and........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2014
  • 06:03 AM
  • 109 views

The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L, & Yuan J. (2014) Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(4), 287-91. PMID: 24647211  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 02:19 PM
  • 74 views

Introduction to Traditional Peer Review

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Peer review was introduced to scholarly publication in 1731 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which published a collection of peer-reviewed medical articles. Despite this early start, in many...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

... Read more »

Biagioli, M. (2002) From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review. Emergences: Journal for the Study of Media , 12(1), 11-45. DOI: 10.1080/1045722022000003435  

Benos DJ, Bashari E, Chaves JM, Gaggar A, Kapoor N, LaFrance M, Mans R, Mayhew D, McGowan S, Polter A.... (2007) The ups and downs of peer review. Advances in physiology education, 31(2), 145-52. PMID: 17562902  

Bornman, L. (2008) Scientific Peer Review: An Analysis of the Peer Review Process from the Perspective of Sociology of Science Theories. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 6(2). info:/

Brown, R. (2006) Double Anonymity and the Peer Review Process. The Scientific World JOURNAL, 1274-1277. DOI: 10.1100/tsw.2006.228  

Callaham ML, Baxt WG, Waeckerle JF, & Wears RL. (1998) Reliability of editors' subjective quality ratings of peer reviews of manuscripts. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 280(3), 229-31. PMID: 9676664  

Spier R. (2002) The history of the peer-review process. Trends in biotechnology, 20(8), 357-8. PMID: 12127284  

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