Post List

  • December 6, 2014
  • 03:31 AM

Risk of cancer associated with autism: small but present

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst understanding the power that headlines can have, alongside the way that statistics can sometimes mislead and/or be misrepresented, I don't want to shy away from the findings presented by Huey-Ling Chiang and colleagues [1] reporting that: "patients with autistic disorder have an increased risk of cancer."Curiosity often leads to trouble.Based yet again on data derived from the fantastic resource that is the Taiwan National Health Insurance database (see here for some other research e........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Liu, C., Hu, Y., Chen, S., Hu, L., Shen, C., Yeh, C., Chen, T., & Gau, S. (2014) Risk of Cancer in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Autistic Disorder. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.029  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:41 PM

Can psychologist and psychiatrist expert witnesses be trusted to know how memory works?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists and psychiatrists are frequently called on to provide expert testimony in court. When the memories recalled by an alleged victim, suspect and/or eye-witness become an explicit issue, is it safe to assume that the psychologist or psychiatrist in the expert role will have up-to-date scientific knowledge about the reliability of memory? Worryingly, a new Norwegian study suggests not.Annika Melinder and Svein Magnussen surveyed 858 psychologists and 78 psychiatrists about their underst........ Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 03:58 PM

Move over solar pannels, introducing spray-on solar cells

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar panels, they are big, heavy, cannot flex, and are still very inefficient. While efficiency isn’t the big issue, flexibility has relegated solar panels to rooftops and solar farms. Well that is until now, researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.... Read more »

Kramer, I., Moreno-Bautista, G., Minor, J., Kopilovic, D., & Sargent, E. (2014) Colloidal quantum dot solar cells on curved and flexible substrates. Applied Physics Letters, 105(16), 163902. DOI: 10.1063/1.4898635  

Carey GH, Kramer IJ, Kanjanaboos P, Moreno-Bautista G, Voznyy O, Rollny L, Tang JA, Hoogland S, & Sargent EH. (2014) Electronically active impurities in colloidal quantum dot solids. ACS nano, 8(11), 11763-9. PMID: 25376698  

Kramer, I., Minor, J., Moreno-Bautista, G., Rollny, L., Kanjanaboos, P., Kopilovic, D., Thon, S., Carey, G., Chou, K., Zhitomirsky, D.... (2014) Efficient Spray-Coated Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201403281  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 12:31 PM

Prosopometamorphopsia: The Woman Who Saw Dragons

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A 52 year old woman suffered from a strange problem: she saw dragons wherever she looked.

Here's the medical case report in The Lancet: Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations from a team of researchers including the famous Oliver Sacks.
In July, 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented to our psychiatric outpatient clinic with a life-long history of seeing people’s faces change into dragon-like faces and hallucinating similar faces many times a day.
What does a dragon look like? A... Read more »

Blom JD, Sommer IE, Koops S, & Sacks OW. (2014) Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations. Lancet, 384(9958), 1998. PMID: 25435453  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 11:56 AM

“Evaluating Information Literacy Educators’ Practices”: Journal Club Report by Emily Delahaye

by Emily Delahaye in DIS Student Blog

Summary of the article by Susie Andretta about a programme to educate Information Literacy educators, and of the discussion of the article at the UCL Department of Information Studies MA Library and Information Studies Journal Club meeting.... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 08:00 AM

Breaking Research: Glycogen build-up in the brain contributes to aging

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Total brain volume decreases as we age. Image modified from brainpowerrelease. Why is the aging process accompanied by progressive cognitive decline such as impaired memory, decreased focus, and slowed reaction time? Although we don’t fully know what causes it, researchers have found that aging visibly affects the brain, most strikingly as a decrease in total […]... Read more »

Sinadinos Christopher, Laura Boulan, Estel Solsona, Maria F. Tevy, Mercedes Marquez, Jordi Duran, Carmen Lopez-Iglesias, Joaquim Calbó, Marco Milan, & Joan J. Guinovart. (2014) Neuronal glycogen synthesis contributes to physiological aging. Aging Cell. DOI:  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 07:56 AM

Reading patterns

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a paper (citation below) that takes a different look at language. It attempts to examine what happens in the brain when we read a story. There is the act of reading, the processing of the language, and the engagement in the story, all going on at the same time. “One of the main […]... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 06:12 AM

Why Our Western Diet Is A Ticking Time Bomb

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

The Western diet places our bodies and environment under untenable pressure. By 2050, scientists predict, this lifestyle will not only constitute two thirds of overall diseases, but it also lays an untenable pressure on our environment.... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:48 AM

Probiotics degrading gluten peptides?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Probiotics again on this blog?OK, consider this a micropost if you will, as I draw your attention to the paper by Duar and colleagues [1] and their study results suggested to provide: "a basis for the selection of Lactobacillus strains for probiotic applications aimed to reduce epitope-containing gluten peptides before reaching the epithelium of the small intestine of celiac patients." What the Duar findings translate into is a possible gluten peptide degrading role for certain strains of probio........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 08:17 PM

The case for intermittent fasting: size matters, timing matters too

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image source: With the holidays rolling around, you’re probably worrying just a bit about your waistline. When it comes to dieting, we all know that...... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 07:39 PM

Arsenic, cadmium, and lead: A toxic trinity of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease?

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

A modern cause of Alzheimer’s disease may lie in the ancient poisons of arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Indian researchers recently reported that young rats exposed to water contaminated with these toxic metals developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a form of … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 07:24 PM

Non-Echolocating Bats Actually Echolocate Using Wing Clicks

by beredim in Strange Animals

Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus)A non-echolocating speciesCredit: MnolfContrary to what most people think, bats are not blind. The truth is that all one-thousand something bat species can see. Most people also think that since bats are blind they rely on their echolocation to get around. Again a mistake, since many bats don't possess echolocation.For example, most species of Megabats [Suborder: Megachiroptera] have to rely exclusively on their vision. Or that's what we thought up ........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 05:52 PM

Lost in bilingual parenting

by Shiva Motaghi Tabari in Language on the Move

It is not unusual for bilingual parents to experience a sense of bewilderment when it comes to language choice in the family. When raising a child in a language different from the one parents were socialised into, old truths and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:39 PM

Psychiatry: End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An important new study could undermine the concept of ‘endophenotypes’ – and thus derail one of the most promising lines of research in neuroscience and psychiatry. The findings are out now in Psychophysiology. Unusually, an entire special issue of the journal is devoted to presenting the various results of the study, along with commentary, but […]
The post Psychiatry: End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:39 PM

Psychiatry: End of the Road for "Endophenotypes"?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An important new study could undermine the concept of 'endophenotypes' - and thus derail one of the most promising lines of research in neuroscience and psychiatry.

The findings are out now in Psychophysiology. Unusually, an entire special issue of the journal is devoted to presenting the various results of the study, along with commentary, but here's the summary paper: Knowns and unknowns for psychophysiological endophenotypes by Minnesota researchers William Iacono, Uma Vaidyanathan, Sc... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:30 PM

Finding the real cost of climate change

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

How much does global warming really cost the world? Determining the Social Cost of Carbon helps put a actual dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies. Remember, even on a global scale, the bottom line will always be profit. But now a group of economists and lawyers urge several improvements to the government's Social Cost of Carbon figure that would impose a regular, tr........ Read more »

Pizer, W., Adler, M., Aldy, J., Anthoff, D., Cropper, M., Gillingham, K., Greenstone, M., Murray, B., Newell, R., Richels, R.... (2014) Using and improving the social cost of carbon. Science, 346(6214), 1189-1190. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259774  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 02:21 PM

ALMA Japan: Hi-Def Imaging of Spiral Gas Arms from Twin Baby Stars (w/video)

by DJ Busby in Astronasty

We know that about half the the stars out there (with sizes close to that of our sun) are binary systems. However, for a long time we've been lacking information on how they develop, since it's not been easy to get a whole lot of data from surrounding scattered mass that's so damned far away! Congrats to all involved!... Read more »

Shigehisa Takakuwa, Masao Saito, Kazuya Saigo, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Jeremy Lim, Tomoyuki Hanawa, & Paul T. P. Ho. (2014) Angular Momentum Exchange by Gravitational Torques and Infall in the Circumbinary Disk of the Protostellar System L1551 NE. The Astrophysical Journal. arXiv: 1409.4903v1

  • December 4, 2014
  • 12:34 PM

Hoe komt het dat een liedje in je hoofd blijft hangen? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

De hele dag dat ene hitje in je hoofd: een oorwurm! Muziekproducenten kunnen het zich niet beter wensen. Wat maakt dat liedje nou zo makkelijk te onthouden? En hoe kan het dat je dat ene nummer zo snel herkent? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt uit wat de ingrediënten zijn voor het maken van een ware muziekhit en waardoor luisteraars zo ‘Hooked on Music’ zijn…... Read more »

Gjerdingen, R., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

Salimpoor, V., van den Bosch, I., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2013) Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. Science, 340(6129), 216-219. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231059  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 10:58 AM

No-Exercise Routine: Squirrels Build Muscle While Hibernating

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You may be physically fit right now, but if you spent all winter snoozing and starving, you’d emerge looking a lot more “pool noodle” than “beach body.” Yet mammals that hibernate don’t have that problem. Rather than stumbling out of their dens on atrophied legs, they hop right into hunting for food and dodging predators. How they manage this is […]
The post No-Exercise Routine: Squirrels Build Muscle While Hibernating appeared first on Inkfish.
... Read more »

Hindle AG, Otis JP, Epperson LE, Hornberger TA, Goodman CA, Carey HV, & Martin SL. (2014) Prioritization of skeletal muscle growth for emergence from hibernation. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25452506  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 08:51 AM

Journal Club: Do pufferfishes hold their breath when inflated?

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A newly-published study by a team of Australian scientists reveals that inflated pufferfish do not hold their breath, that they continue to obtain oxygen across their gills as usual. ... Read more »

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