At least once per year, and more is likely better, laughter is the best medicine. On April Fool's Day, everybody from school-age kids to technology companies tries to trick people into believing into jokes. Yet, as Sigmund Freud suggested, jokes often expose unconscious desires. Perhaps the technologies listed below, too, have a grain of our desires wrapped in a smile?
Here are a few announcements made on April 1 2016.... Read more »
[No authors listed]. (2000) April Fool's Day and the Medicinal Value of Humor. The virtual mentor : VM, 2(4). PMID: 23270623
If you’re a transplant recipient you know that transplant organs are a veritable ticking time bomb waiting to be rejected by your well-meaning (but stupid) body. Not only can you do everything right and still have the organs rejected, you have to take a steady stream of expensive pills to inhibit the immune system and stop the body from launching its attack. Don’t throw your pill organizers away just yet, but soon.
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MacDonald, K., Hoeppli, R., Huang, Q., Gillies, J., Luciani, D., Orban, P., Broady, R., & Levings, M. (2016) Alloantigen-specific regulatory T cells generated with a chimeric antigen receptor. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126(4), 1413-1424. DOI: 10.1172/JCI82771
It may sound superficial, but you can judge a lot about an animal from its schnoz. Plant-eaters have evolved the perfect snout shapes to nibble, chomp, or tear up the foods they love. And by decoding those shapes, scientists hope they can learn more about plant-eaters that are more mysterious—namely, dinosaurs.
"When you see cows in a field, their faces almost look like they're glued to the ground as they nibble away," says Jon Tennant, a PhD student at Imperial College London. Cows are ........ Read more »
It's that time of the year again. You step out of the house and your eyes itch, your nose starts running and your head feels like an empty balloon. Yes, it's allergy season again. Even the resilient ones, give them enough time and eventually they will develop some form of allergic reaction. But what are allergies and why do so many people suffer from them?Allergies are a glitch in our immune system. The immune system is built to recognize and destroy pathogens -- potential threats like viruses........ Read more »
Ziska, L., Knowlton, K., Rogers, C., Dalan, D., Tierney, N., Elder, M., Filley, W., Shropshire, J., Ford, L., Hedberg, C.... (2011) Recent warming by latitude associated with increased length of ragweed pollen season in central North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(10), 4248-4251. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014107108
Li, Q., & Zhou, J. (2016) The microbiota–gut–brain axis and its potential therapeutic role in autism spectrum disorder. Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.013
Molloy, J., Allen, K., Collier, F., Tang, M., Ward, A., & Vuillermin, P. (2013) The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(12), 7235-7256. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10127235
"In conclusion, [the] present meta-analysis strongly suggested a significant association of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism with autism."So said the findings reported by Vandana Rai  as yet more discussion emerges on the possible role of issues with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in relation to at least some autism. The reason I've titled this post as a 'meta-meta-analysis' is because we've previously seen meta-analysis done on this polymorphism (SNP) in rela........ Read more »
Rai, V. (2016) Association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene C677T polymorphism with autism: evidence of genetic susceptibility. Metabolic Brain Disease. DOI: 10.1007/s11011-016-9815-0
Currently, neuroscientists think our brain has about enough storage space to hold the entire internet. That’s a lot of space, about a petabyte in fact — if we are to believe this estimate. So, what did you read in the news this day 5 years ago? Don’t worry, I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning and my long-term memory doesn’t fair much better. However, vital information about how the brain erases long-term memories has been uncovered by researchers.
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Migues, P., Liu, L., Archbold, G., Einarsson, E., Wong, J., Bonasia, K., Ko, S., Wang, Y., & Hardt, O. (2016) Blocking Synaptic Removal of GluA2-Containing AMPA Receptors Prevents the Natural Forgetting of Long-Term Memories. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(12), 3481-3494. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3333-15.2016
"For 2012, the combined estimated prevalence of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] among the 11 ADDM [Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring] Network sites was 14.6 per 1,000 (one in 68) children aged 8 years."So said the report by Deborah Christensen and colleagues  continuing a research theme as the CDC map the estimated prevalence of autism in the United States over the years (see here and see here). This time around, as last time covering 2010, the figure se........ Read more »
Christensen, D., Baio, J., Braun, K., Bilder, D., Charles, J., Constantino, J., Daniels, J., Durkin, M., Fitzgerald, R., Kurzius-Spencer, M.... (2016) Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2012. MMWR. Surveillance Summaries, 65(3), 1-23. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.ss6503a1
Recently projects have been developed with the aim to reproduce published research results in psychology, biology and economics to verify their reliability. The results indicate different degrees of reproducibility in each area, however, they served to alert the scientific community about how fragile results considered irrefutable can be and reflect on the role of science in self-correcting. … Read More →... Read more »
Fanelli, D. (2010) “Positive” Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010068
, . (2015) Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251). DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4716
Baker, M. (2015) First results from psychology’s largest reproducibility test. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2015.17433
Baker, M. (2015) Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2015.18248
Gilbert, D., King, G., Pettigrew, S., & Wilson, T. (2016) Comment on "Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science". Science, 351(6277), 1037-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad7243
Anderson, C., Bahnik, �., Barnett-Cowan, M., Bosco, F., Chandler, J., Chartier, C., Cheung, F., Christopherson, C., Cordes, A., Cremata, E.... (2016) Response to Comment on "Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science". Science, 351(6277), 1037-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9163
Etz, A., & Vandekerckhove, J. (2016) A Bayesian Perspective on the Reproducibility Project: Psychology. PLOS ONE, 11(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149794
Camerer, C., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Almenberg, J., Altmejd, A., Chan, T.... (2016) Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science, 351(6280), 1433-1436. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0918
Bohannon, J. (2016) About 40% of economics experiments fail replication survey. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf4141
Begley, C., & Ellis, L. (2012) Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature, 483(7391), 531-533. DOI: 10.1038/483531a
Prinz, F., Schlange, T., & Asadullah, K. (2011) Believe it or not: how much can we rely on published data on potential drug targets?. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 10(9), 712-712. DOI: 10.1038/nrd3439-c1
Van Noorden, R. (2015) Sluggish data sharing hampers reproducibility effort. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2015.17694
We should not ignore that researchers – in general but also in supply chain management – are not always as properly trained to perform data analysis as they should be. A highly visible discussion is currently going on regarding the prevalent misuses of p-values. For example, too often research has been considered as “good” research, […]... Read more »
Wasserstein, R., & Lazar, N. (2016) The ASA's Statement on p-values: Context, Process, and Purpose. The American Statistician. DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108
It's goo week here at Rosin Cerate. So far we've looked at forms of natural springtime goo. For today's post, it's on to a much darker and less life-affirming goo. We're going to take a peek at the viscous fluids you can extract from a corpse to determine where/when/how it became a corpse and other useful forensic information.... Read more »
Bévalot F, Cartiser N, Bottinelli C, Fanton L, & Guitton J. (2015) Vitreous humor analysis for the detection of xenobiotics in forensic toxicology: A review. Forensic Toxicology, 34(1), 12-40. DOI: 10.1007/s11419-015-0294-5
Deking J, Hargrove VM, & Molina DK. (2014) Synovial fluid: An alternative toxicologic specimen?. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 35(2), 154-6. PMID: 24781403
A few months ago, we published a paper that spent four years in peer-review (story behind the paper). Because of this, I feel entitled to an opinion on the pre- vs post-publication review debate.
Background on preprints and their effect on peer-review
If you have been living under a rock, or if you are not on Twitter, you may not have noticed that preprints are becoming more widely accepted in biology—supported by initiatives such as Haldane’s Sieve and bioRxiv. This is particularly tr........ Read more »
Tan G, Muffato M, Ledergerber C, Herrero J, Goldman N, Gil M, & Dessimoz C. (2015) Current Methods for Automated Filtering of Multiple Sequence Alignments Frequently Worsen Single-Gene Phylogenetic Inference. Systematic biology, 64(5), 778-91. PMID: 26031838
New in the journal journal Cortex: four shocking cases of practicing medicine while exhausted (Dharia & Zeman, 2016). The authors called this newly discovered syndrome “fatigue amnesia.” Why this is is any different from countless other examples of not remembering things you did while exhausted — I do not know. Except amnesia for performing a complex medical procedure is a lot more disturbing than forgetting you did the dishes the night before.Here are the cases in brief:Case 1:&........ Read more »
Minus any sweeping generalisations, I want to bring your attention to the recent paper by Ashy Rengit and colleagues  today, continuing a theme of case reports discussing autism co-occurring with a substance use disorder (SUD). A SUD is generally defined as where the use of one or more substances (drugs) with psychoactive properties leads to significant impairment or distress for a person. Although some people might envisage the use of illicit drugs as being the only way to receivin........ Read more »
Rengit AC, McKowen JW, O'Brien J, Howe YJ, & McDougle CJ. (2016) Brief Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Substance Use Disorder: A Review and Case Study. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26944591
by Julian Xue in Evolutionary Games Group
In classic game theory, we are often faced with multiple potential equilibria between which to select with no unequivocal way to choose between these alternatives. If you’ve ever heard Artem justify dynamic approaches, such as evolutionary game theory, then you’ve seen this equilibrium selection problem take center stage. Natural selection has an analogous ‘problem’ of […]... Read more »
Yampolsky, L.Y., & Stoltzfus, A. (2001) Bias in the introduction of variation as an orienting factor in evolution. Evolution , 3(2), 73-83. PMID: 11341676
Food for the worms, a dirt nap, kicking the bucket, maybe there are so many euphemisms for death because it is still a taboo in certain cultures. Not so fun fact, my Uncle committed suicide some years back. I’m not going to go into details, but because suicide is looked down on, was his death still considered a “good death”? Trying to qualitatively and quantitatively define a good death, researchers have published a new paper offering help in defining the idea of a good death and have ulti........ Read more »
Meier, E., Gallegos, J., Thomas, L., Depp, C., Irwin, S., & Jeste, D. (2016) Defining a Good Death (Successful Dying): Literature Review and a Call for Research and Public Dialogue. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24(4), 261-271. DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2016.01.135
A recurring finding in psychology is that people tend to overestimate the strength of their future emotions, an error known as the "intensity bias". You imagine that failing your driving test will leave you in the depths of despair, for example, but actually when it happens, you don't really feel too bad – the examiner was mean, you were feeling tired, and anyway you've still got your mate's party to look forward to next weekend. In other words, the reason you overestimated the emotional impac........ Read more »
van Dijk, W., van Dillen, L., Rotteveel, M., & Seip, E. (2016) Looking into the crystal ball of our emotional lives: emotion regulation and the overestimation of future guilt and shame. Cognition and Emotion, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1129313
Most of the bioinformatics tools we examine are things that come into play downstream of an experiment. People wish to analyze their data, look at genes that popped up (or dropped down), visualize relationships, etc. So this week’s Video Tip tool is unusual–it’s software that helps people design the upstream pieces of their experiments. Experimental […]... Read more »
Thankfully, “stick to your own kind” is not something that animals always consider. Ligers, tigons, even wolphins (false killer whales mate with a dolphin) are all amazing exceptions. These example aren’t new species because they are often sterile of the wrong size- ligers are often too big to deliver. However, there are rare times when a new species can emerge from hybridizations. The Lornicera fly was a wild hybrid between the snowberry bush and blueberry bush flies, but sinc........ Read more »
Jesús Mavárez1, Camilo A. Salazar, Eldredge Bermingham1, Christian Salcedo, Chris D. Jiggins . (2006) Speciation by hybridization in Heliconius butterflies. Nature, 868-871. DOI: 10.1038/nature04738
An early anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction fails to provide improved quality-of-life years and costs compared with people who are provided an optional delayed reconstruction treatment strategy. ... Read more »
Kiadaliri, A., Englund, M., Lohmander, L., Steen Carlsson, K., & Frobell, R. (2016) No economic benefit of early knee reconstruction over optional delayed reconstruction for ACL tears: registry enriched randomised controlled trial data. British Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095308
Germany has discovered a new social type that is causing grieve in modern diverse societies: the “Integrationsverweigerer;” literally someone who...... Read more »
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