Move over silicon, tomorrow's computers could be made of something completely different. A team of international researchers managed to find a molecule that, to their opinion, could give the impetus to the development of organic electronics.
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Karpov, Y., Erdmann, T., Raguzin, I., Al-Hussein, M., Binner, M., Lappan, U., Stamm, M., Gerasimov, K., Beryozkina, T., Bakulev, V.... (2016) High Conductivity in Molecularly p-Doped Diketopyrrolopyrrole-Based Polymer: The Impact of a High Dopant Strength and Good Structural Order. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201506295
This is the fifth and final post in a series on strange substances accidentally or intentionally added to street drugs. When you're done here, check out the posts on alcohol, meth, opioids, and pot/LSD.If a drug is being sold illegally, chances are its sellers have added crap to it in order to make more money. Cocaine is no exception to this deception. Substances added to nose candy because they resemble the drug but otherwise don't mimic or influence its effects include talc powder, flour, corn........ Read more »
Tallarida CS, Tallarida RJ, & Rawls SM. (2015) Levamisole enhances the rewarding and locomotor-activating effects of cocaine in rats. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 145-150. PMID: 25683823
Eyes shut tight, face contorted into a grimace. Are they ecstatic or anguished? Ignorant of the context, it can be hard to tell. Recent research that involved participants looking at images of the facial expressions of professional tennis players supported this intuition – participants naive to the context were unable to tell the difference between the winners and losers.From a scientific perspective, the problem with the tennis study is that the findings might have been affected by the player........ Read more »
Wenzler, S., Levine, S., van Dick, R., Oertel-Knöchel, V., & Aviezer, H. (2016) Beyond Pleasure and Pain: Facial Expression Ambiguity in Adults and Children During Intense Situations. Emotion. DOI: 10.1037/emo0000185
Another prominent psychology theory has come under scrutiny by researchers who say the published results look unrealistic.
In a new paper, Miguel A. Vadillo et al. take aim at the idea that the body's reserves of willpower rely on glucose.
The background here is the 'ego depletion' model, a psychological theory which holds that self-control is effortful and draws on a limited resource, which can eventually be depleted if it's overused. Many researchers have proposed that glucose is thi... Read more »
Vadillo, M., Gold, N., & Osman, M. (2016) The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Willpower: The Limited Evidential Value of the Glucose Model of Ego Depletion. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797616654911
Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding folliculin (FLCN). How this leads to the BHD clinical manifestations is not yet clear. Since homozygous mutations of FLCN are lethal in mice, rats and dogs at early embryonic stage (Hasumi et al., 2009), zebrafish is a valuable alternative model to study the developmental functions of FLCN. Newly published research from Kenyon et al. (2016) examines the role of FLCN in zebrafish development using morpholino oligonuc........ Read more »
Kenyon EJ, Luijten MN, Gill H, Li N, Rawlings M, Bull JC, Hadzhiev Y, van Steensel MA, Maher E, & Mueller F. (2016) Expression and knockdown of zebrafish folliculin suggests requirement for embryonic brain morphogenesis. BMC developmental biology, 16(1), 23. PMID: 27391801
"Gastrin-releasing peptide was safe and well tolerated by most subjects and may be effective for core symptoms of autism."So said the results of the study - open trial - by Michele Michelin Becker and colleagues  continuing a research theme from this author  on the potential need for further scientific scrutiny when it comes to the use of gastrin-releasing peptides (GRP) and autism. Emphasising again that results were based on the use of an open trial (everyone knew what was bein........ Read more »
Becker MM, Riesgo RS, Roesler R, Bosa C, Ohlweiler L, Backes B, Endres RG, Zanon RB, Marchezan J, & Schwartsmann G. (2016) Improvement in Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children With the Use of Gastrin-Releasing Peptide: An Open Trial. Clinical neuropharmacology. PMID: 27332629
This week, I am at the University of Nottingham for the joint meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology and the European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology — ECMTB/SMB 2016. It is a huge meeting, with over 800 delegates in attendance, 308 half-hour mini-symposium talks, 264 twenty-minute contributed talks, 190 posters, 7 prize talks, […]... Read more »
Gog, J.R., Ballesteros, S., Viboud, C., Simonsen, L., Bjornstad, O.N., Shaman, J., Chao, D.L., Khan, F., & Grenfell, B.T. (2014) Spatial Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(6). PMID: 24921923
In the mountains of Central Africa, scientists who study critically endangered gorillas have a new tool. They've discovered that they can learn what viruses gorillas are carrying by stealthily collecting half-chewed plants the apes leave behind.
If this sounds reminiscent of that class clown at the third-grade lunch table who would ask if you liked seafood and then say "See? Food!" and open his mouth wide to display his sloppy Joe slurry, don't worry—mountain gorillas are vegetarians. ........ Read more »
Smiley Evans T, Gilardi KV, Barry PA, Ssebide BJ, Kinani JF, Nizeyimana F, Noheri JB, Byarugaba DK, Mudakikwa A, Cranfield MR.... (2016) Detection of viruses using discarded plants from wild mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. American journal of primatology. PMID: 27331804
In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers have determined that the immune system directly affects - and even controls - creatures' social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions?
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Filiano, A., Xu, Y., Tustison, N., Marsh, R., Baker, W., Smirnov, I., Overall, C., Gadani, S., Turner, S., Weng, Z.... (2016) Unexpected role of interferon-γ in regulating neuronal connectivity and social behaviour. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature18626
The Global report on ebooks shows that after several years of growth, commercial companies find a decelerated market, where two lines of action strongly emerge: (a) the digitizing of educational books; and (b) books self-publishing initiatives. In this market stands out the ‘four horsemen’ initiatives that shape the digital ecology, integrated by Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. … Read More →... Read more »
WISCHENBART, R.,, & et al. (2016) Global eBook: a report on market trends an developments. Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting (RWCC). info:/
This week I chose the papers for the Brockington Lab ‘journal club’ here at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (I prefer to call it the ‘weekly research round-up’ though, because good content has nothing-to-do with journals per se!). We rotate the choice of papers between each lab member every week. Sometimes the focus is … Read more →... Read more »
Islam, T., Croll, D., Gladieux, P., Soanes, D., Persoons, A., Bhattacharjee, P., Hossain, S., Gupta, D., Mahboob, M. G., Cook, N.... (2016) Emergence of wheat blast in Bangladesh was caused by a South American lineage of Magnaporthe oryzae. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/059832
Erin C McKiernan, Philip E Bourne, Titus Brown, Stuart Buck, Amye Kenall, Jennifer Lin, Damon McDougall, Brian A Nosek, Karthik Ram, Courtney K Soderberg.... (2016) How open science helps researchers succeed. eLife. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16800
Dog safety education for children works, according to a systematic review of existing research.The CDC estimates that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog every year. Children are at high risk, and bites to children are often more severe than those to adults. Bites to the head and neck are more common than for adults because children are smaller.The CDC says “Among children, the rate of dog-bite–related injuries is highest for those 5 to 9 years old. Children are more likely than adults........ Read more »
Shen, J., Rouse, J., Godbole, M., Wells, H., Boppana, S., & Schwebel, D. (2016) Systematic Review: Interventions to Educate Children About Dog Safety and Prevent Pediatric Dog-Bite Injuries: A Meta-Analytic Review. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv164
It’s no secret that while genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated thousands of genetic loci in human phenotypes, the variants uncovered collectively explain only a fraction of the observed variance between individuals. The reasons for this “missing heritability” are a subject of vigorous debate in the scientific community. One possible explanation is that rare (low-frequency) variants […]... Read more »
The philodendron that raises its temperature to attract a certain beetle is an exception. Most plants invite many different pollinators, but a few have only a single pollinator species. This leads to some interesting adaptations and some even funkier smells.... Read more »
Chupp AD, Battaglia LL, Schauber EM, & Sipes SD. (2015) Orchid-pollinator interactions and potential vulnerability to biological invasion. AoB PLANTS. PMID: 26286221
Whitehead MR, & Peakall R. (2014) Pollinator specificity drives strong prepollination reproductive isolation in sympatric sexually deceptive orchids. Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 68(6), 1561-75. PMID: 24527666
Phenotypic differences between males and females of a species are referred to as sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism manifests not only in morphological traits, but also in physiological and behavioural traits. In organisms that do not have sex chromosomes, males and females are both derived from a nearly identical genome. Such is the case in zebrafish. Despite being such an important model for biological research, the mechanism of sex determination still remains a mystery. Many believe environ........ Read more »
Chatterjee, A., Lagisz, M., Rodger, E., Zhen, L., Stockwell, P., Duncan, E., Horsfield, J., Jeyakani, J., Mathavan, S., Ozaki, Y.... (2016) Sex differences in DNA methylation and expression in zebrafish brain: a test of an extended ‘male sex drive’ hypothesis. Gene. DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2016.05.042
Connallon T, & Knowles LL. (2005) Intergenomic conflict revealed by patterns of sex-biased gene expression. Trends in genetics : TIG, 21(9), 495-9. PMID: 16039005
Ellegren, H., & Parsch, J. (2007) The evolution of sex-biased genes and sex-biased gene expression. Nature Reviews Genetics, 8(9), 689-698. DOI: 10.1038/nrg2167
Chatterjee A, Ozaki Y, Stockwell PA, Horsfield JA, Morison IM, & Nakagawa S. (2013) Mapping the zebrafish brain methylome using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. Epigenetics, 8(9), 979-89. PMID: 23975027
Chatterjee A, Stockwell PA, Horsfield JA, Morison IM, & Nakagawa S. (2014) Base-resolution DNA methylation landscape of zebrafish brain and liver. Genomics data, 342-4. PMID: 26484126
Chatterjee A, Leichter AL, Fan V, Tsai P, Purcell RV, Sullivan MJ, & Eccles MR. (2015) Erratum: A cross comparison of technologies for the detection of microRNAs in clinical FFPE samples of hepatoblastoma patients. Scientific reports, 13505. PMID: 26328756
Gagnidze K, Weil ZM, & Pfaff DW. (2010) Histone modifications proposed to regulate sexual differentiation of brain and behavior. BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 32(11), 932-9. PMID: 20836091
Water churns. Earth moves. Molecules jostle and chemicals mix. Between heaven and hell, a young planet finds itself in full flux. Developing. Forming. Star stuff rains down and forged elements bubble up. Then it happens. It seems as if it’s just another chemical match-up, another reaction in the vast library of possibilities. But it would […]... Read more »
Scharf C, & Cronin L. (2016) Quantifying the origins of life on a planetary scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 27382156
If you were sat in a dark room and the lights flickered off every few seconds, you'd definitely notice. Yet when your blinks make the world go momentarily dark – and bear in mind most of us perform around 12 to 15 of these every minute – you are mostly oblivious. It certainly doesn't feel like someone is flicking the lights on and off. How can this be?A new study in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance has tested two possibilities – one is that after each bl........ Read more »
Irwin, D., & Robinson, M. (2016) Perceiving a Continuous Visual World Across Voluntary Eye Blinks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000267
Not so long ago I blogged about the research paper from Faezeh Ghalichi and colleagues  (see here) describing the result of their relatively small scale (non-blinded, not placebo-controlled) trial on the use of a gluten-free diet (GFD) with a cohort of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).The results, taking into account certain methodological issues, were generally quite favourable when it came to the analysed behavioural measurements used and importantly on the presence........ Read more »
Faezeh Ghalichi, Alireza Ostadrahimi, Ayyoub Malek, & Jamal Ghaemmaghami. (2016) The effect of gluten free diet on markers of celiac disease and association with behavioral symptoms in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Progress in Nutrition, 18(2). info:/
Among 143 people with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, 40% had worsening osteophytes or cartilage defects during the first 2 years after injury. Males and people with a meniscal tear, medial cartilage defect at baseline, or medial bone marrow lesion at 1-year follow-up may be at risk for these early structural changes.... Read more »
van Meer, B., Oei, E., Meuffels, D., van Arkel, E., Verhaar, J., Bierma-Zeinstra, S., & Reijman, M. (2016) Degenerative Changes in the Knee 2 Years After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture and Related Risk Factors: A Prospective Observational Follow-up Study. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(6), 1524-1533. DOI: 10.1177/0363546516631936
The music theory literature has been suggesting it for a long time: the idea that simultaneous sounding tones with frequency relationships that are low integer multiples, like 1:2 (octave) or 3:2 (a perfect fifth), are determinant of how listeners perceive consonance. It is an idea that is often related to the overtone structure of natural sounds (such as the voice or string instruments) suggesting that musical harmony is reflective or even a result of the acoustic structure that is found in nat........ Read more »
Honing, H., ten Cate, C., Peretz, I., & Trehub, S. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140088-20140088. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0088
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