Post List

  • January 6, 2015
  • 01:16 PM

Lots of selfies may suggest you’re a narcissist

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Well I’ve got some bad news to all you selfie fanatics out there, a new study showed that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy. The study looked exclusively at men, however the men out there should have no fear, there is a follow up study being done with women as well.... Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 10:05 AM

Stiff Masks Block Emotional Memories

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

A good poker face may help you win a Hold 'Em tournament, but it won't do your memory any favors. Our faces naturally flinch into emotional expressions that match what we're seeing or hearing. These quick expressions, in addition to giving away our pocket aces, seem to help us recall things later. Using stiff cosmetic masks, scientists showed that it also works the other way: if we can't move our faces, emotional memories are harder to hang onto.

We may not realize when our facial muscle........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

What It Takes To Kill A Watt

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Do you have any idea where your home's electricity comes from? Sure, people have all heard of solar power, wind power, and fossil fuels, but they know very little about how electricity is most often generated. Is fossil fuel the most important natural resource for electricity production – nope, it’s water.... Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 07:05 AM

Large-scale effects of temperature and zooplankton on phytoplankton in the North Atlantic

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog

Phytoplankton biomass is controlled by a combination of “bottom-up” factors such as temperature, light and nutrients and “top-down” factors, in particular zooplankton predation. In a recent study we analysed large-scale data on ocean chlorophyll, copepod abundance and temperature in order to assess the general importance of bottom-up and top-down factors in controlling phytoplankton biomass.

... Read more »

Feng, J., Stige, L., Durant, J., Hessen, D., Zhu, L., Hjermann, D., Llope, M., & Stenseth, N. (2014) Large-scale season-dependent effects of temperature and zooplankton on phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 25-37. DOI: 10.3354/meps10724  

Fischer, A., Moberg, E., Alexander, H., Brownlee, E., Hunter-Cevera, K., Pitz, K., Rosengard, S., & Sosik, H. (2014) Sixty Years of Sverdrup: A Retrospective of Progress in the Study of Phytoplankton Blooms. Oceanography, 27(1), 222-235. DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2014.26  

  • January 6, 2015
  • 07:00 AM

Can religion reduce crime?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Studying links between religious belief and crime is notoriously difficult. On a crude level, people in prisons in the USA are more likely to be religious than the general population. Of course, there are any number of confounding factors that could be at play here. So you need to look over time to have any [Read More...]... Read more »

  • January 6, 2015
  • 05:11 AM

Could violent video games make people more moral in the real world?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Video games allow players to indulge in simulated behaviours that in the real world would be highly antisocial or unethical, and many people are concerned how this might spill over from the screen to the street. A new study, however, suggests that such activities can elicit a moral response in players, reinforcing the potential of the medium as a means of civic development.In the study developed by Matthew Grizzard and colleagues, players of a first-person shooter game reported higher levels of ........ Read more »

Grizzard, M., Tamborini, R., Lewis, R., Wang, L., & Prabhu, S. (2014) Being Bad in a Video Game Can Make Us Morally Sensitive. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(8), 499-504. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2013.0658  

  • January 6, 2015
  • 04:40 AM

Olanzapine, gut bacteria and weight gain in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results collectively provide strong evidence for a mechanism underlying olanzapine-induced weight gain in mouse and a hypothesis for clinical translation in human patients."That was the summary statement derived from data published by Andrew Morgan and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at how some of those trillions of wee beasties which colonise humans and animals (the microbiome) may very well influence response to medicines... at least in mice. The authors' specific focus on on........ Read more »

Morgan AP, Crowley JJ, Nonneman RJ, Quackenbush CR, Miller CN, Ryan AK, Bogue MA, Paredes SH, Yourstone S, Carroll IM.... (2014) The Antipsychotic Olanzapine Interacts with the Gut Microbiome to Cause Weight Gain in Mouse. PloS one, 9(12). PMID: 25506936  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 03:42 PM

Creating a better diet pill: The new drug that is making big promises

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Losing the weight, some of us never seem to be able to do it. Whether it is poor choice in diet, a medical condition, or just a sedentary lifestyle people everywhere are finding they can’t shed the pounds. Now there is a new drug that promises help in the weight loss department and works like nothing we’ve seen used for weight loss yet. The compound effectively stopped weight gain, lowered cholesterol, controlled blood sugar and minimized inflammation in mice, making it an excellent candidat........ Read more »

Fang, S., Suh, J., Reilly, S., Yu, E., Osborn, O., Lackey, D., Yoshihara, E., Perino, A., Jacinto, S., Lukasheva, Y.... (2015) Intestinal FXR agonism promotes adipose tissue browning and reduces obesity and insulin resistance. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3760  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 03:02 PM

Typical Dreams: A Comparison of Dreams Across Cultures

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Have you ever wondered how the content of your dreams differs from that of your friends? How about the dreams of people raised in different countries and cultures? It is not always easy to compare dreams of distinct individuals because the content of dreams depends on our personal experiences. This is why dream researchers have developed standardized dream questionnaires in which common thematic elements are grouped together. These questionnaires can be translated into various languages and used........ Read more »

Nielsen, T., Zadra, A., Simard, V., Saucier, S., Stenstrom, P., Smith, C., & Kuiken, D. (2003) The Typical Dreams of Canadian University Students. Dreaming, 13(4), 211-235. DOI: 10.1023/B:DREM.0000003144.40929.0b  

Schredl M, Ciric P, Götz S, & Wittmann L. (2004) Typical dreams: stability and gender differences. The Journal of psychology, 138(6), 485-94. PMID: 15612605  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 02:32 PM

Journal Club: Halfsider: a bizarre half-male half-female bird

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A “halfsider” -- half male and half female bird -- has been mentioned in the news over the holidays. More properly known as bilateral gynandromorphs or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual birds are actually two genetically distinct individuals -- twins -- fused into one being. But what is it like to be such an individual? A recently published paper shares observations of the behaviour and social life of one such individual living in the wild.... Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

Counting breaths to measure mindfulness

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

One of the greatest challenges to the scientific study of mindfulness is finding a way to objectively measure how mindful someone is. Only with a clear, unbiased measure we can we feel confident in when and why a person’s mindfulness changes, and what greater levels of mindfulness can mean for us. But mindfulness is a mental process, invisible to anyone outside our heads and sometimes even to ourselves. So how can we truly know whether someone is mindful, or has benefited from training to ........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 08:20 AM

The rabbit blastocyst modelling (for) vertebrate gastrulation

by Christoph Viebahn in the Node

Form and function of animal gastrulation have been longstanding classics accompanying the rise of experimental embryology, and – as if to square the circle in the literal sense – the blastopore of Haeckel’s original ‘gastrea’ stage[1] was soon (and still is) considered analogous to the straight primitive streak of birds and mammals[2-4]. Both forms are […]... Read more »

Bertocchini, F., Alev, C., Nakaya, Y., & Sheng, G. (2013) A little winning streak: The reptilian-eye view of gastrulation in birds. Development, Growth , 55(1), 52-59. DOI: 10.1111/dgd.12014  

Osteil, P., Tapponnier, Y., Markossian, S., Godet, M., Schmaltz-Panneau, B., Jouneau, L., Cabau, C., Joly, T., Blachere, T., Gocza, E.... (2013) Induced pluripotent stem cells derived from rabbits exhibit some characteristics of naive pluripotency. Biology Open, 2(6), 613-628. DOI: 10.1242/bio.20134242  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

“Who are these people who understand this brain science thing?”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If you think neurolaw and neuroscience are everywhere–and don’t find it particularly challenging to talk about brain science, apparently you are living in a very rarified environment. It’s hard to believe but evidently, most people do not think the exploding field of brain science is fascinating! Instead, when they think of brain science they think […]

Related posts:
What do those jurors really know about science and technology?
A new question for the jury: Did my brain implant........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 06:02 AM

British first-time fathers describe their experiences of separation and helplessness

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Ante-natal classes only serve to increase fathers' feelings of separation from their pregnant partners, according to a series of in-depth interviews with ten White British fathers.Anja Wittkowski and her colleagues interviewed the men to help increase our understanding of what it's like for men to become a father for the first time - a neglected area of research. All the participants, aged 27 to 47, were married to their partners, they were middle-class, employed, and the pregnancies were all pl........ Read more »

Kowlessar, O., Fox, J., & Wittkowski, A. (2014) First-time fathers’ experiences of parenting during the first year. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 1-11. DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2014.971404  

  • January 5, 2015
  • 04:27 AM

Systematic reviews and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

There were a few reasons why I wanted to bring the commentary from Sven Bölte [1] on the topic of systematic reviews and autism research to your attention. One particular sentence included in the text stuck out for me: "... systematic reviews do not always tell the whole truth either" reflective of how we perhaps should always be a little cautious in the way we interpret science even when faced with the platinum standard that is the systematic review (with or without meta-analysi........ Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 12:05 AM

Flag on the Play! Youth Football Players Do Not Know Concussion Signs and Symptoms

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

While 75% of youth football athletes reported that they understood the dangers of concussions over 60% reported that they believe it is okay to continue to play after they sustained a hit to the head that elicited a headache as long as they did not lose consciousness. This suggests that this population needs further concussion education.... Read more »

McAllister-Deitrick, J., Covassin, T., & Gould, D. (2014) Sport-Related Concussion Knowledge Among Youth Football Players. Athletic Training , 6(6), 280-284. DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20141112-03  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 07:55 PM

Killer fat cells help protect against bacterial infections

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

Fat is bad. This is what doctors and nutritionists have preached for years, making fat public enemy number one in the battle against obesity. We now know that not all fat is bad. Unsaturated fats, like those found in fish and nuts, have many potential health benefits while saturated and trans fats should be avoided. […]... Read more »

Zhang, L., Guerrero-Juarez, C., Hata, T., Bapat, S., Ramos, R., Plikus, M., & Gallo, R. (2015) Dermal adipocytes protect against invasive Staphylococcus aureus skin infection. Science, 347(6217), 67-71. DOI: 10.1126/science.1260972  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 02:43 PM

Outsmarting superbugs’ countermoves to antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades — such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections — are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs.... Read more »

Reeve SM, Gainza P, Frey KM, Georgiev I, Donald BR, & Anderson AC. (2014) Protein design algorithms predict viable resistance to an experimental antifolate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25552560  

  • January 4, 2015
  • 07:46 AM

In the right place at the right time: visualizing and understanding mRNA localization

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

The title of this post is also the title of a review paper that I co-authored  with Adina Buxbaum, a recently graduated PhD student from Rob Singer’s lab. The review was published last week in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell biology. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 3, 2015
  • 07:16 PM

The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits

by Esra Durmaz in genome ecology evolution etc

Mexico, hosted many cultures such as the Olmec, the Toltec, the Maya and the Aztec, conquered and colonized by the Spanish Empire in 1521. The country harbors a large source of pre-Columbian diversity and their genetic contributions to today’s population. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Moreno-Estrada, A., Gignoux, C., Fernandez-Lopez, J., Zakharia, F., Sikora, M., Contreras, A., Acuna-Alonzo, V., Sandoval, K., Eng, C., Romero-Hidalgo, S.... (2014) The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits. Science, 344(6189), 1280-1285. DOI: 10.1126/science.1251688  

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