Many of the misconceptions we deal with in mathematics education in particular can be seen as the result of dealing with objects of 'low discriminability' (objects that are hard to tell apart). In many cases, these objects really are hard to tell apart, and in others we simply make them hard through our sequencing.... Read more »
Birnbaum, M., Kornell, N., Bjork, E., & Bjork, R. (2012) Why interleaving enhances inductive learning: The roles of discrimination and retrieval. Memory , 41(3), 392-402. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-012-0272-7
"Contrary to our hypothesis, we found no relationship between systemizing and math achievement after controlling for domain general abilities and no relationship between the systemizing brain type (greater discrepancy between systemizing and empathizing) and math achievement."That quote taken from the study published by Emily Escovar and colleagues  (open-access available here) provides some blogging fodder today. Based on some ideas proposed in autism research circles that "mathematics ........ Read more »
Escovar E, Rosenberg-Lee M, Uddin LQ, & Menon V. (2016) The Empathizing-Systemizing Theory, Social Abilities, and Mathematical Achievement in Children. Scientific reports, 23011. PMID: 26972835
If birds fretted about their biological clocks like humans do, it would be the dads of some species doing the worrying, not the moms. When male albatrosses have chicks later in life, those chicks grow up to fare worse. It's because albatrosses of both sexes are such good parents to begin with.
Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) share parenting duties "quite equitably," explains Rémi Fay, a graduate student in biology at France's CNRS. The giant seabirds mate for life. Every other y........ Read more »
Fay, R., Barbraud, C., Delord, K., & Weimerskirch, H. (2016) Paternal but not maternal age influences early-life performance of offspring in a long-lived seabird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1828), 20152318. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2318
The real cost of sequencing is as hard to pin down as a sumo wrestler. Working in a large-scale sequencing laboratory offers an interesting perspective on the duality of the so-called “cost per genome.” On one hand, we see certain equipment manufacturers and many people in the media tossing around claims that sequencing a genome […]... Read more »
Muir P, Li S, Lou S, Wang D, Spakowicz DJ, Salichos L, Zhang J, Weinstock GM, Isaacs F, Rozowsky J.... (2016) The real cost of sequencing: scaling computation to keep pace with data generation. Genome biology, 17(1), 53. PMID: 27009100
Source: PEW Charitable TrustsThe above graphic, from the Antibiotic Resistance Project by the PEW charitable trusts, summarizes how alarming the emergence of drug resistant bacterial strains has gotten over the past few decades. According to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), every year 2 million Americans acquire drug-resistant infections , in other words infections that do not respond to treatment with ordinary antibiotics. Not only do drug-resistant infections require muc........ Read more »
Armstrong GL, Conn LA, & Pinner RW. (1999) Trends in infectious disease mortality in the United States during the 20th century. JAMA, 281(1), 61-6. PMID: 9892452
Cherednichenko, G., Zhang, R., Bannister, R., Timofeyev, V., Li, N., Fritsch, E., Feng, W., Barrientos, G., Schebb, N., Hammock, B.... (2012) Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2 dynamics in striated muscle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(35), 14158-14163. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211314109
Van Boeckel, T., Brower, C., Gilbert, M., Grenfell, B., Levin, S., Robinson, T., Teillant, A., & Laxminarayan, R. (2015) Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(18), 5649-5654. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1503141112
Many working parents experience guilt about sending their young children off to day nursery, especially in light of research published in the 2000s that suggested that too much early childcare is associated with later behavioural problems. However, a new study in the International Journal of Behavioural Development paints a more positive picture – the more time children spent in day nursery before the age of two (defined as group-based childcare outside the home), the better their cognitive pe........ Read more »
Barnes, J., & Melhuish, E. (2016) Amount and timing of group-based childcare from birth and cognitive development at 51 months: A UK study. International Journal of Behavioral Development. DOI: 10.1177/0165025416635756
"The data highlight a gap in calcium and vitamin D supplement prescribing practices among providers caring for children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] as well as a gap in the practice of checking 25(OH)D levels."So said research published by Shylaja Srinivasan and colleagues  (open-access) with findings tied into an important issue in autism research and clinical practice: potential inequalities when it comes to the provision of suitable healthcare and accessing appropriat........ Read more »
Srinivasan, S., O’Rourke, J., Bersche Golas, S., Neumeyer, A., & Misra, M. (2016) Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement Prescribing Practices among Providers Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Are We Addressing Bone Health?. Autism Research and Treatment, 1-6. DOI: 10.1155/2016/6763205
Until we can figure out our lack of regenerating our bodies, or can convince more people to donate organs, we are at mercy of either luck or technology. Bio 3-D printing offers hope that we can print personalized organs as need and rejection free. But the technology relies almost solely with tissue engineers, there job is to find processes using novel bio-materials seeded with stem cells to grow and replace missing tissues.
... Read more »
Tuin, S., Pourdeyhimi, B., & Loboa, E. (2016) Creating tissues from textiles: scalable nonwoven manufacturing techniques for fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds. Biomedical Materials, 11(1), 15017. DOI: 10.1088/1748-6041/11/1/015017
The ASAP Bio conference held in February at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US, brought together biomedicine researchers to discuss new ways to communicate research results using preprints and post-publication peer review. Renowned scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners started to deposit their articles in open access preprint repositories before proceeding with the formal publication in journals. The topic received last week the attention of the New York Times. … Read More........ Read more »
UK trainee clinical psychologists favour social and cognitive approaches to mental health rather than biological To stereotype the mental health professions, psychiatrists tend to see mental health problems as being predominantly biological in nature, while clinical psychologists see them as caused more by social circumstances. This is a generalisation, of course, because individuals in each camp hold a variety of perspectives. But surveys do usually reveal average differences in perspectiv........ Read more »
Read, R., Moberly, N., Salter, D., & Broome, M. (2016) Concepts of Mental Disorders in Trainee Clinical Psychologists. Clinical Psychology . DOI: 10.1002/cpp.2013
For the past couple of years now, a fungus called Xylaria polymorpha has been munching on the buried roots of a beheaded tree on my parents' front lawn. In the grass surrounding the stump, X. polymorpha sends up a thicket of charcoal club-like mushrooms every summer. They look kinda like a dead man's fingers, which not coincidentally happens to be a common name for the fungus.... Read more »
Sagara N. (1995) Association of ectomycorrhizal fungi with decomposed animal wastes in forest habitats: A cleaning symbiosis?. Canadian Journal of Botany, 73(S1), 1423-1433. DOI: 10.1139/b95-406
Picture: Carl Warner: http://www.carlwarner.com/I'm serving up two peer-reviewed papers for your reading delight today which draw attention to the ideas that (a) the 'causes' of autism are likely complex and as heterogeneous as the label itself, (b) gene x environment interactions affecting risk of autism are starting to get some good scientific research airtime and (c) don't 'dis the broccoli [chemical] autism connection just yet...The first paper by Brandon Pearson and colleagues  (ope........ Read more »
Pearson, B., Simon, J., McCoy, E., Salazar, G., Fragola, G., & Zylka, M. (2016) Identification of chemicals that mimic transcriptional changes associated with autism, brain aging and neurodegeneration. Nature Communications, 11173. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11173
Wong, S., Napoli, E., Krakowiak, P., Tassone, F., Hertz-Picciotto, I., & Giulivi, C. (2016) Role of p53, Mitochondrial DNA Deletions, and Paternal Age in Autism: A Case-Control Study. PEDIATRICS, 137(4). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-1888
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
"Who wants to generate some DATA??" are probably not words you've ever said while taking your dog's leash and tennis ball from the closet. But thanks to videos of people playing with their dogs, scientists now know what words you are likely to use. They also discovered how women's tussling and tug-of-war are different from men's—and what the professionals do better.
The scientists are Alexandra Horowitz and Julie Hecht of Barnard College's Dog Cognition Lab. They asked members of the p........ Read more »
Horowitz A, & Hecht J. (2016) Examining dog-human play: the characteristics, affect, and vocalizations of a unique interspecific interaction. Animal cognition. PMID: 27003698
Essential tips for better vet visits.You stealthily trapped your cat in the lounge, but at the first sight of the carrier she ran to hide under the sofa – and she’s not coming out. You move the sofa and grab her as she flees, then get scratched in the process of forcing her into the carrier. Or you’re in the waiting room at the vet’s and your dog keeps getting up and trying to leave. When you are called to the consulting room, he parks his rear end on the floor and refuses to move.It doe........ Read more »
Lockhart, J., Wilson, K., & Lanman, C. (2013) The effects of operant training on blood collection for domestic cats. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 143(2-4), 128-134. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.10.011
Mariti, C., Raspanti, E., Zilocchi, M., Carlone, B., & Gazzano, A. (2015) The assessment of dog welfare in the waiting room of a veterinary clinic. Animal Welfare, 24(3), 299-305. DOI: 10.7120/096272126.96.36.1999
One of the really persistent issues in genomics is how to either get a list of things, or handle a list of things. or the overlap among the things. I think that was one of the most popular topics we dealt with in the early days of OpenHelix, but it’s still a issue that people need to […]... Read more »
Shimoyama, M., De Pons, J., Hayman, G., Laulederkind, S., Liu, W., Nigam, R., Petri, V., Smith, J., Tutaj, M., Wang, S.... (2014) The Rat Genome Database 2015: genomic, phenotypic and environmental variations and disease. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(D1). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gku1026
Why do some birds migrate and others don’t? It’s not that simple. The reason isn’t genetics, it isn’t necessarily food or weather either. There are birds that can allow their feet to go to one degree above freezing while keeping the rest of the body toasty – so they don’t need to migrate, yet other birds that are close to them genetically will fly thousands of miles. Other birds species only have a few of the adults migrate – who decides which ones make ........ Read more »
Davenport LC, Goodenough KS, & Haugaasen T. (2016) Birds of Two Oceans? Trans-Andean and Divergent Migration of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger cinerascens) from the Peruvian Amazon. PloS one, 11(1). PMID: 26760301
Ahola MP, Laaksonen T, Eeva T, & Lehikoinen E. (2007) Climate change can alter competitive relationships between resident and migratory birds. The Journal of animal ecology, 76(6), 1045-52. PMID: 17922701
Hobson KA, Anderson RC, Soto DX, & Wassenaar LI. (2012) Isotopic evidence that dragonflies (Pantala flavescens) migrating through the Maldives come from the northern Indian subcontinent. PloS one, 7(12). PMID: 23285106
Much like the chocolate cake staring at you from the dessert tray in that fine restaurant, the narcissist initially seems irresistible—but like the cake, when you indulge in a relationship with the narcissist, you will probably end up sick to your stomach. It’s called the Chocolate Cake Model of narcissism. And it’s how today’s researchers […]
So…are you a narcissist? [The Ivy League edition]
“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a model!” [#humblebr........ Read more »
Ong CW, Roberts R, Arthur CA, Woodman T, & Akehurst S. (2016) The Leader Ship Is Sinking: A Temporal Investigation of Narcissistic Leadership. Journal of Personality, 84(2), 237-47. PMID: 25487857
Our understanding of the role of language in social life suffers from a particularly intractable problem: the terms we use...... Read more »
Vathi, Z., Duci, V., & Dhembo, E. (2016) Homeland (dis)integrations: Educational Experience, Children and Return Migration to Albania. International Migration. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12230
Former collegiate athletes who participated in collision sports (primarily football) reported lower quality of life when compared to contact or limited contact athletes.... Read more »
Simon J, & Docherty CL. (2016) Current Health-Related Quality of Life in Former National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Collision Athletes Compared With Contact and Limited-Contact Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. PMID: 26959296
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