Post List

  • May 15, 2017
  • 12:29 AM
  • 17 views

Looking for Empathy in All the Wrong Places: Bizarre Cases of Factitious Disorder

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

art by Zdzisław Beksiński Factitious disorder is a rare psychiatric condition where an individual deliberately induces or fabricates an ailment because of a desire to fulfill the role of a sick person. This differs from garden variety malingering, where an individual feigns illness for secondary gain (drug seeking, financial gain, avoidance of work, etc.). The primary goal in factitious disorder is to garner attention and sympathy from caregivers and medical staff.The psychiatric handbook DSM-........ Read more »

Porter, T., & Feldman, M. (2011) A Case of Factitious Pedophilia. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56(5), 1380-1382. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01804.x  

Thompson CR, & Beckson M. (2004) A case of factitious homicidal ideation. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 32(3), 277-81. PMID: 15515916  

  • May 13, 2017
  • 04:42 AM
  • 168 views

Welcoming zonulin into autism research

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was VERY happy to read the paper published by Erman Esnafoglu and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "zonulin, which regulates intestinal permeability, plays a role in the development of symptoms of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Zonulin - something that "can be used as a biomarker of impaired gut barrier function for several autoimmune, neurodegenerative, and tumoral diseases" [2] - is a compound that I've been interested in for a while on this and other blogs (see here). The primary ........ Read more »

Esnafoglu, E., Cırrık, S., Ayyıldız, S., Erdil, A., Ertürk, E., Daglı, A., & Noyan, T. (2017) Increased Serum Zonulin Levels as an Intestinal Permeability Marker in Autistic Subjects. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.004  

  • May 12, 2017
  • 10:43 AM
  • 147 views

A Cuttlefish Clash: The Strongest, Stripeyist Guy Gets the Girl

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

I know what you’re thinking: “Why hasn’t she written about cuttlefish mating systems?” I understand, cuttlefish are ridiculously cool and you just need to know more about them. You are in luck as a brand new study has been published online about just that topic!Cuttlefish are cephalopods, which are all predatory marine animals that have at least eight arms, a siphon for jet-propulsion, and highly developed nervous and sensory systems (specifically the most sophisticated eye of all invert........ Read more »

Allen, J., Akkaynak, D., Schnell, A., & Hanlon, R. (2017) Dramatic Fighting by Male Cuttlefish for a Female Mate. The American Naturalist. DOI: 10.1086/692009  

  • May 12, 2017
  • 08:30 AM
  • 168 views

Could Parasites Be Causing Prostate Cancer?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

New study shows that a common parasite called Toxoplasma gondii forms tissue cysts and causes inflammation in mouse prostates. ... Read more »

  • May 12, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 146 views

Friday Fellow: Spreading Earthmoss

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If you still think mosses are uninteresting lifeforms, perhaps you will change your mind after knowing the spreading earthmoss, Physcomitrella patens. Found in temperate regions of the world, except for South America, but more commonly recorded in … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cove, D. (2005) The Moss Physcomitrella patens. Annual Review of Genetics, 39(1), 339-358. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.genet.39.073003.110214  

  • May 12, 2017
  • 03:02 AM
  • 169 views

Physical exercise as a nootropic of choice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Nootropic, defined as a 'smart drug' or cognitive enhancer, is generally taken to mean a substance/compound/medicine that has some positive effect(s) on aspects of cognition. I've talked about the possibility that various compounds might fit this bill on this blog (see here for example) but today I'm discussing another quite important potential nootropic: exercise.It was the paper by Joseph Michael Northery and colleagues [1] (open-access) that added exercise to the nootropic categoris........ Read more »

  • May 11, 2017
  • 09:42 PM
  • 182 views

The banal nationalism of intercultural communication advice

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Intercultural communication advice is a strange genre. Filling shelves and shelves in bookshops and libraries and now with a well-established...... Read more »

Piller, I. (2017) Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. info:/

  • May 11, 2017
  • 09:26 AM
  • 160 views

Land snails on islands: fascinating diversity, worrying vulnerability

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll The class Gastropoda, which includes snails and slugs, is only beaten by the insects in number of species worldwide, having currently about 80 thousand described species. Among those, about 24 thousand live on land, where they are … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 11, 2017
  • 03:08 AM
  • 170 views

Could an "ill-state" associated with anorexia nervosa mimic the symptoms of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The question posed in the title of this post 'Could an "ill-state" associated with anorexia nervosa mimic the symptoms of autism?' stems from the findings reported by Heather Westwood and colleagues [1] (open-access).They continued a research theme looking at the potential 'overlap' when it comes to autism and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN) (see here). Notably, researchers questioned whether the finding that some 50% of their cohort "scored above the clinical cut-off on the ........ Read more »

  • May 10, 2017
  • 04:29 PM
  • 165 views

Gender disparities in science persist despite significant advances

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The participation of women as authors in academic publications has been increasing significantly worldwide and in all areas of knowledge, reaching 49% in Brazil and Portugal, followed by Australia (44%) and the European Union (41%). Gender equity in science, however, still has a long way to go, especially in the editing and peer review functions. A study of more than 41,000 articles published between 2007 and 2015 shows that male editors - who are majority - preferentially select same gender ref........ Read more »

Markus Helmer, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, & Demian Battaglia. (2017) Gender bias in scholarly peer review. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21718.001  

Lerback, J., & Hanson, B. (2017) Journals invite too few women to referee. Nature, 541(7638), 455-457. DOI: 10.1038/541455a  

  • May 10, 2017
  • 06:16 AM
  • 199 views

Know your brain: Preoptic area

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the preoptic area?















the preoptic area is highlighted in blue.











Functionally, the preoptic area is considered to be a region of the hypothalamus even though its embryological origins are as part of the telencephalon (rather than the diencephalon like the rest of the hypothalamus). It consists of the area o........ Read more »

  • May 10, 2017
  • 04:56 AM
  • 150 views

Sustainable hunting regulations take the speed of trophy growth into account

by sschindler in sschindlerblog

Hunting regulations aim to keep trophy hunting sustainable. Yet most regulations fall short of this aim and trophy size is becoming shorter over time in most hunted populations, such as Bighorn sheep, Impala, Mouflon, and Sable antelope. This might be due to ignoring the speed of trophy growth when deciding on hunting regulations. more Schindler, […]... Read more »

Schindler, S., Festa-Bianchet, M., Hogg, J., & Pelletier, F. (2017) Hunting, age structure, and horn size distribution in bighorn sheep. The Journal of Wildlife Management. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21259  

  • May 10, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 164 views

Eating Disorders Persist Over Entire Season

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Female athletes with an eating disorder will most likely continue to have the eating disorder throughout their competitive season.... Read more »

  • May 10, 2017
  • 02:35 AM
  • 165 views

Conviction for violence and autism: comorbidity counts

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I tread carefully when discussing the results published by Ragini Heeramun and colleagues [1] on the topic of "whether autism is associated with convictions for violent crimes" and "the associated risk and protective factors." Carefully because, as I've indicated on other occasions (see here), people commit crimes not labels, and sweeping generalisations about labels, specific types of crime and/or the concept of 'dangerousness' tend to do very little to help anyone in the long term.St........ Read more »

Heeramun, R., Magnusson, C., Gumpert, C., Granath, S., Lundberg, M., Dalman, C., & Rai, D. (2017) Autism and Convictions for Violent Crimes: Population-Based Cohort Study in Sweden. Journal of the American Academy of Child . DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.03.011  

  • May 9, 2017
  • 07:07 AM
  • 187 views

Microwave emission as a proxy of CME speed in ICME forecasting by Carolina Salas Matamoros, Ludwig Klein and Gerard Trottet

by CESRA in Solar Radio Science

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are one type of interplanetary structure that mostly affect the geomagnetic field (e.g. Gonzalez and Tsurutani, 1987; Zhang et al, 2007). These structures are observed and studied through coronagraphic images. The basic limitation of the coronagraph is that it shows the corona only in the plane of the sky, and blocks by necessity the view on the solar disk. Thus, the projection effect in the kinematic [...]... Read more »

  • May 9, 2017
  • 04:24 AM
  • 177 views

"Medical Conditions in the First Years of Life Associated with Future Diagnosis of ASD"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I rank the paper by Stacey Alexeeff and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) as being in the 'pretty important' category when it comes to hierarchy in autism research. Not only because of their use of data derived from Kaiser Permanente (KP) (quite a large US healthcare provider that has some autism research history) including some "3911 ASD [autism spectrum disorder] cases and 38,609 controls" but also because some of the findings reiterate what is already 'known' abo........ Read more »

Alexeeff SE, Yau V, Qian Y, Davignon M, Lynch F, Crawford P, Davis R, & Croen LA. (2017) Medical Conditions in the First Years of Life Associated with Future Diagnosis of ASD in Children. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 28434058  

  • May 8, 2017
  • 11:54 PM
  • 157 views

Quick Look: The Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

SummaryFor two years beginning in 2013, a large team led by Sanjay Limaye set out to combine and compare the following:Venusian atmospheric data collected by probes in the 1970s and 1980s (used to create the Venus International Reference Atmosphere, or VIRA)Venus Express data on the vertical and horizontal structure of the atmosphereEarth-based observations of the upper atmosphere temperature structure of Venus made since VIRAFigure 1a: Vertical coverage of post-VIRA atmospheric structure experi........ Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 05:45 PM
  • 210 views

Let those who never smelled bad cast the first stone

by Aurametrix team in Aurametrix Blog

Analysis of our metabolism is crucial to comprehending the responses of our genes and microbes to the stresses of daily life, and to elucidating the causes and consequences of health and disease. And measurement of urinary metabolites - small molecules produced from foods, drinks, drugs, environmental contaminants, bodily waste products and bacterial by-products - is key to the analysis. We applied this approach to an elusive condition that has always evaded diagnosis: s........ Read more »

Bouatra, S., Aziat, F., Mandal, R., Guo, A., Wilson, M., Knox, C., Bjorndahl, T., Krishnamurthy, R., Saleem, F., Liu, P.... (2013) The Human Urine Metabolome. PLoS ONE, 8(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073076  

Irene S. Gabashvili. (2017) Raw Data from Clinical Trial NCT02692495. Mendeley Data. info:/DOI: 10.17632/8bk6h6bmkr.1

  • May 8, 2017
  • 01:25 PM
  • 146 views

Health systems in Brazil and regionalization policies

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

There is currently a crucial moment in the implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), since its performance is questioned on all sides, in general, magnifying a superficial view of its failures and denying many of its successes. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 8, 2017
  • 01:08 PM
  • 177 views

Neuropeptides and Peer Review Failure

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in the prestigious journal PNAS contains a rather glaring blooper.

The paper, from Oxford University researchers Eiluned Pearce et al., is about the relationship between genes and social behaviour. The blooper is right there in the abstract, which states that "three neuropeptides (β-endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine) play particularly important roles" in human sociality. But dopamine is not a neuropeptide.



Neither are serotonin or testosterone, but throughout the paper, Pea... Read more »

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