You rake leaves and lug them to the curb, or you push them into your neighbor’s yard with your blower. Either way, do you know where the matter/mass in all those leaves comes from? You won’t believe the answer. But the leaf may be passé. New research is showing how artificial leaves can produce oxygen for space travel and hydrogen for fuel cells.... Read more »
Pijpers, J., Winkler, M., Surendranath, Y., Buonassisi, T., & Nocera, D. (2011) Light-induced water oxidation at silicon electrodes functionalized with a cobalt oxygen-evolving catalyst. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(25), 10056-10061. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106545108
Why do we dream? It's still a scientific mystery. The "Threat Simulation Theory" proposes that we dream as a way to simulate real-life threats and prepare ourselves for dealing with them. "This simulation in an almost-real experiential world would train the brain to perceive dangers and rapidly face them within the safe condition of sleeping," write the authors of a new paper that's put the theory to the test.Isabelle Arnulf and her colleagues reasoned that if dreams help simulate future threats........ Read more »
Arnulf, I., Grosliere, L., Le Corvec, T., Golmard, J., Lascols, O., & Duguet, A. (2014) Will students pass a competitive exam that they failed in their dreams?. Consciousness and Cognition, 36-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.06.010
I was interested to read the paper by Elizabeth Pellicano and colleagues  (open-access) investigating "the views of community involvement in autism research both from the perspectives of autism researchers and of community members, including autistic adults, family members and practitioners". Quite a few results are reported including the idea that researchers "were skeptical about the possibilities of dramatically increasing community engagement, while community members themselves spoke abou........ Read more »
Pellicano E, Dinsmore A, & Charman T. (2014) Views on Researcher-Community Engagement in Autism Research in the United Kingdom: A Mixed-Methods Study. PloS one, 9(10). PMID: 25303222
by hirokin in the Node
Chicken, quail, zebra finch, emu, duck, crow……a simple glimpse and we immediately realize how the Aves have, as a model system left their traces in various fields of biological research. And within the Aves class, the domestic fowl Gallus gallus is no doubt revered highly among the developmental biologists for their certainly distinguished career. Discovery […]... Read more »
Nagai, H., Sezaki, M., Nakamura, H., & Sheng, G. (2014) Extending the limits of avian embryo culture with the modified Cornish pasty and whole-embryo transplantation methods. Methods, 66(3), 441-446. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.05.005
Nagai, H., Lin, M., & Sheng, G. (2011) A modified cornish pasty method for ex ovo culture of the chick embryo. genesis, 49(1), 46-52. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20690
Tanaka, J., Harada, H., Ito, K., Ogura, T., & Nakamura, H. (2010) Gene manipulation of chick embryos in vitro, early chick culture, and long survival in transplanted eggs. Development, Growth , 52(7), 629-634. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2010.01198.x
Nagai, H., Sezaki, M., Bertocchini, F., Fukuda, K., & Sheng, G. (2014) HINTW, a W-chromosome HINT gene in chick, is expressed ubiquitously and is a robust female cell marker applicable in intraspecific chimera studies . Genesis, 52(5), 424-430. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.22769
We continue our Researcher of the Month (RotM) series, with an interview with Professor Michael Garstang, Distinguished Investigator and Research Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virgina. Professor Garstang is also associated with a Simpsons Weather Associates, a private environmental research company and recently published a paper in PLoS One about ... Read more »
Garstang, M., Davis, R., Leggett, K., Frauenfeld, O., Greco, S., Zipser, E., & Peterson, M. (2014) Response of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) to Seasonal Changes in Rainfall. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108736
Kelley, M., & Garstang, M. (2013) On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants. Animals, 3(2), 349-355. DOI: 10.3390/ani3020349
Babies, even 15-months-old, can identify the anger of adults. Interestingly, they have the ability to change their behavior in response to anger.
Psychologists have found that babies not only learn from their own social experiences but also from looking at social interactions of other people. This shows that babies have a good level of emotional intelligence that could be more than we think. They start learning about s........ Read more »
Repacholi, B., Meltzoff, A., Rowe, H., & Toub, T. (2014) Infant, control thyself: Infants’ integration of multiple social cues to regulate their imitative behavior. Cognitive Development, 46-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.04.004
Ever think you could have built something better if you had a hand in the design? Sometimes people just have a desire to make, after all the maker movement is huge for a reason. Well geneticists have a new toy tool to play with —dubbed “the telomerator”—that could redefine the limits of synthetic biology and advance how successfully living things can be engineered or constructed in the laboratory based on an organism’s genetic, chemical base-pair structure. How cool is that?!... Read more »
J. Boeke et al. (2014) Circular permutation of a synthetic eukaryotic chromosome with the telomerator. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1414399111
The first time a colony of Antarctic penguins sees a towering human striding toward them, it must be like First Contact. They’ve never seen a species our size on land before, or anything that moves like we do. Even after penguins have interacted with researchers, the approach of a human is a physiologically stressful experience. […]The post For Stress-Free Penguins, Use a Rover appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »
Maho, Y., Whittington, J., Hanuise, N., Pereira, L., Boureau, M., Brucker, M., Chatelain, N., Courtecuisse, J., Crenner, F., Friess, B.... (2014) Rovers minimize human disturbance in research on wild animals. Nature Methods. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3173
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
This post might well fall into the category of “the route to tenure-track publication credits is not always the high road”. We discard lots of dicey research reports (such as this one) because they add nothing to our goal of improving litigation advocacy. But this one was so weird we found it amusing. Enjoy. But […]
“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Things You Should (Maybe) Know…
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McDermott, R., Tingley, D., & Hatemi, P. (2014) Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 997-1005. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133
Sympathy towards the suffering is culture-dependent. People from "simpatico" cultures such as Brazil or Costa Rica are more likely to help people in need, as are people from economically poorer nations compared to wealthier counterparts. Now new research explores differences in how sympathy is expressed within two Western countries. Americans encourage sufferers to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the study finds, while Germans are more comfortable gazing at its dark walls.Birgit Koo........ Read more »
Koopmann-Holm, B., & Tsai, J. (2014) Focusing on the Negative: Cultural Differences in Expressions of Sympathy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0037684
"In summary, this work has demonstrated the potential value of long-term probiotic-based interventions to counter mercury and arsenic exposure in vulnerable populations, particularly in pregnant women".Sounds like an '80s man to me...That was one of the primary conclusions reported by Jordan Bisanz and colleagues  (open-access) examining "at-risk populations of pregnant women and in children in Mwanza, Tanzania". The idea being that alongside the use of metal chelating medicines such as ........ Read more »
Jordan E. Bisanz, Megan K. Enos, Joseph R. Mwanga, John Changalucha, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregory B. Gloor, & Gregor Reid. (2014) Randomized Open-Label Pilot Study of the Influence of Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome on Toxic Metal Levels in Tanzanian Pregnant Women and School Children. mBio. info:/10.1128/mBio.01580-14
Adolescent cannabis use has been linked to risk of psychosis in a number of studies. However, the question of whether cannabis use actually causes some people to become psychotic is a difficult one to answer and the evidence remains inconclusive. Furthermore, long-term studies on cannabis use have generally not considered that personality characteristics that have been linked to mental illness might also prompt a person’s decision to use drugs such as cannabis.... Read more »
McLaren JA, Silins E, Hutchinson D, Mattick RP, & Hall W. (2010) Assessing evidence for a causal link between cannabis and psychosis: a review of cohort studies. The International journal on drug policy, 21(1), 10-9. PMID: 19783132
The vestibular/ocular motor screening (VOMS) is valid assessment to identify young patients with concussions.... Read more »
Mucha A, Collins MW, Elbin RJ, Furman JM, Troutman-Enseki C, DeWolf RM, Marchetti G, & Kontos AP. (2014) A Brief Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) Assessment to Evaluate Concussions: Preliminary Findings. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(10), 2479-86. PMID: 25106780
Our recent study on maerl sediment dynamics has found that the settling velocity of maerl is primarily governed by the grain shape properties of maerl. A grain shape parameter known as the convexity has been linked to the settling velocity via the Ferguson and Church model (Ferguson and Church, 2004). Due to the grain shape of maerl and roughness, it experiences a greater drag than the natural quartz grain. Detailed measurements of maërl grain shape using microscopic image analysis confirm ........ Read more »
Ferguson, R., & Church, M. (2004) A Simple Universal Equation for Grain Settling Velocity. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 74(6), 933-937. DOI: 10.1306/051204740933
Joshi, S., Duffy, G., & Brown, C. (2014) Settling Velocity and Grain Shape of Maerl Biogenic Gravel. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 84(8), 718-727. DOI: 10.2110/jsr.2014.51
A great deal is known about how we make simple decisions, right down to the way neurons in our brains connect to translate the things we sense into the responses we make. Some of the most important neural studies of decision-making have used monkeys as an analogue for humans. The broader scope of methodology which can be used with primates has provided information far beyond that obtainable from human experimentation. However, conclusions based on animal experiments may not always translate to h........ Read more »
Genetic engineering techniques offers many different promises, some of which will obviously come sooner than others. One of those promises was a possible end to famine, while most famine in the world today is in developing countries, that could spread as population increases. To that end scientists have announced a new way to dramatically increase crop yields by improving upon Mother Nature's offerings. The team has discovered a set of gene variations that can boost fruit production in the tomat........ Read more »
Z. Lippman et al. (2014) Optimization of crop productivity in tomato using induced mutations in the florigen pathway. Nature Genetics. info:/10.1038/ng.3131
A stumbling block to moving forward with recovery in the UK is lack of agreement about what recovery actually is. Highly specific definitions (e.g. recovery = abstinence) can lead to exclusion and fierce disagreement while non-specific definitions are too woolly to measure in services which are being asked to deliver measurable outcomes. Professionals and recovering people Professionals are [...]
The post What is recovery? appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »
Kaskutas LA, Borkman TJ, Laudet A, Ritter LA, Witbrodt J, Subbaraman MS, Stunz A, & Bond J. (2014) Elements that define recovery: the experiential perspective. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 75(6), 999-1010. PMID: 25343658
We've always thought that the last glacial cycle correlated with a slow rise in CO2, however new data from Antarctica shows quick spikes in CO2 and methane lasting under 100 years. This data could provide new insights into the carbon cycles useful for understanding today's CO2 increases.... Read more »
Marcott, S., Bauska, T., Buizert, C., Steig, E., Rosen, J., Cuffey, K., Fudge, T., Severinghaus, J., Ahn, J., Kalk, M.... (2014) Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature, 514(7524), 616-619. DOI: 10.1038/nature13799
Cyborg © EEGAs many of you know, one of my favorite topics here on the blog is epigenetic inheritance, i.e. the mechanisms that regulate changes in gene expression that can be passed from one generation to the next. Epigenetics has revolutionized the way we look at genetic inheritance: Darwin had taught us that the only way the environment can shape the genome of a species is through natural selection. While this is certainly still true, today we also know that:1) Most of the mutations we see i........ Read more »
Dias, B., & Ressler, K. (2013) Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations. Nature Neuroscience, 17(1), 89-96. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3594
As I was preparing some reading assignments, I realized that I don’t have a single resource available that covers the main ideas of the interface theory of perception, objective versus subjective rationality, and their relationship to evolutionary game theory. I wanted to correct this oversight and use it as opportunity to comment on the philosophy […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the cognitive science societ. arXiv: 1405.0041v1
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