Section through the organ of corti, showing inner and outer hair cellsOne of the leading causes of hearing loss in mammals is damage to the sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear. For years now, scientists have thought that these cells are not replaced once lost. Now, a new study reveals that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice.If the findings can be applied to older animals, they may lead to ways to help stimulate cell replacement in adults and to the design ........ Read more »
Naomi F. Bramhall, Fuxin Shi, Katrin Arnold, Konrad Hochedlinger, Albert S.B. Edge. (2014) Lgr5-Positive Supporting Cells Generate New Hair Cells in the Postnatal Cochlea. Stem Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.01.008
Lack of sexual interest in a highly sexualised Western society: how does that work? Interest in this topic has sky-rocketed in the past decade, yet we still know very little about it. Once thought to be a psychological or biological disorder, asexuality is slowly being accepted as a normal orientation separate from sexual orientations such as heterosexuality and homosexuality.... Read more »
Van Houdenhove, E., Gijs, L., T’Sjoen, G. And Enzlin. (2014) Stories about asexuality: A qualitative study in asexual women. Journal of Sex . DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2014.889053
There are several open challenges that our society has to address in the near future: produce sufficient amounts of clean energy from renewable sources, design new technologies that enable a sustainable economic growth, address some relevant environmental issues like quality of air and water or waste recycling, improve our standard of life via more accurate diagnostic tools and new medical treatments, just to mention a few. Most of these challenges deal with the design, synthesis, characterizati........ Read more »
Gianfranco Pacchioni. (2014) Smart Materials from Nanotechnology for Global Challenges. Journal of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials, 1(1), 1-1. info:/1: 101
HIV/AIDS is currently the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25-34. As heterosexual behavior is the major mode of HIV transmission among this population, it is important to further understand the factors which may influence risky sexual behaviors and promote HIV testing behaviors. The target population for this study represents the convergence of two groups disproportionately at-risk for contracting HIV: African American women and college students. Specifically, the purpose o........ Read more »
Keisha Carr Paxton*, Brandilynn Villarreal, Oku OO, Naomi M Hall. (2013) Increasing Knowledge of HIV Transmission: An Important Ingredient in HIV Risk Reduction among Young African American Women Attending Community College. Journal of HIV/AIDS , 1(2), 1-7. info:/Vol 1: 201
New research finds that the country is at risk of future water shortages that could shut down power stations and paralyze electricity supplies.... Read more »
Edward A. Byers, Jim W. Hall, Jaime M. Amezaga. (2014) Electricity generation and cooling water use: UK pathways to 2050. Global Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.01.005
How are social media and the Internet changing the way science is done? And what does that have to do with a dancing cockatoo?... Read more »
Patel, Aniruddh D., Iversen, John R., Bregman, Micah R., & Schulz, Irena. (2009) Experimental Evidence for Synchronization to a Musical Beat in a Nonhuman Animal. Current Biology, 19(10), 827-830. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.03.038
A post exploring the psychological and medical benefits of having strong social relationships. Meta-analysis and further studies show that beyond the obvious psychological benefits of having friends, strong social relationships also confer longevity and increased likelihood of survival in situations of risked mortality.... Read more »
Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton. (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med. DOI: 10.4016/19911.01
Cable et al. (2012) Friends are equally important to men and women, but family matters more for men's well-being. Journal of Epidemiology . DOI: 10.1136/jech-2012-201113
Giles et al. (2004) Effect of social networks on 10 year survival in very old Australians: the Australian longitudinal study of aging. Journal of Epidemiology . DOI: 10.1136/jech.2004.025429
tl;dr: Rodents will help each other get out of trouble, though they will help each other more if they are related. Social learning in rodents can require information transmission between ACC and amygdala, and the strength of synapses in mPFC dictates social status. He wanders into the room and stops – someone else is peering […]... Read more »
Ben-Ami Bartal I, Rodgers DA, Bernardez Sarria MS, Decety J, & Mason P. (2014) Pro-social behavior in rats is modulated by social experience. eLife. PMID: 24424411
Wang F, Zhu J, Zhu H, Zhang Q, Lin Z, & Hu H. (2011) Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6056), 693-7. PMID: 21960531
Jeon D, Kim S, Chetana M, Jo D, Ruley HE, Lin SY, Rabah D, Kinet JP, & Shin HS. (2010) Observational fear learning involves affective pain system and Cav1.2 Ca2 channels in ACC. Nature neuroscience, 13(4), 482-8. PMID: 20190743
Exercise appears to be therapeutic in treatment of a variety of medical conditions.However, the relative magnitude of the effect of exercise is less well documented. Comparing the magnitude of the therapeutic effect of exercise with that of common drug interventions can be quite informative.Such comparisons provide insight into the relative value of exercise and the role of exercise in comprehensive treatment planning.Huseyin Naci and John Ioannidis recently published a study of the compara........ Read more »
Naci H, & Ioannidis JP. (2013) Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 24473061
In January 2014, the two papers “Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency” and “Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency” published in the journal Nature by Haruko Obokata and colleagues took the world of stem cell research by surprise.... Read more »
Obokata H, Wakayama T, Sasai Y, Kojima K, Vacanti MP, Niwa H, Yamato M, & Vacanti CA. (2014) Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency. Nature, 505(7485), 641-7. PMID: 24476887
February 19th 2014 (yesterday). Questioning Answers celebrates 3 years of life as a blog. Happy birthday. To quote from one website: "Congratulations, you have survived the "terrible two's!"'. Maybe I should start claiming some free early education for it too?You are 3 @ Paul WhiteleyAnyhow...Cast your mind back to September 2012 and the publication of a paper by Gaia Novarino and colleagues* which I posted about (see here) discussing some interesting observations with respect to a potentia........ Read more »
García-Cazorla A, Oyarzabal A, Fort J, Robles C, Castejón E, Ruiz-Sala P, Bodoy S, Merinero B, Lopez-Sala A, Dopazo J.... (2014) Two Novel Mutations in the BCKDK Gene (Branched-Chain Keto-Acid Dehydrogenase Kinase) are Responsible of a Neurobehavioral Deficit in two Pediatric Unrelated Patients. Human mutation. PMID: 24449431
The assessment and treatment of depression usually deals with negative verbal thoughts as if they are distinct from negative mental imagery and perceptual sensations. A new study led by Steffen Moritz at the University of Hamburg suggests this is a mistake - many people with depression report that their negative thoughts have a sensory quality. What's more, experiencing depressive thoughts with perceptual sensations tends to go hand in hand with more serious depressive illness.Recruited via hosp........ Read more »
Moritz S, Hörmann CC, Schröder J, Berger T, Jacob GA, Meyer B, Holmes EA, Späth C, Hautzinger M, Lutz W.... (2013) Beyond words: Sensory properties of depressive thoughts. Cognition . PMID: 24359124
Astronomers have reported the chemical composition of two white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133, outside the solar system. Oxygen, magnesium, Silicon and Calcium are found in both planetesimals.
The Astrophysical Journal
It is a small, dim, extremely dense star that has collapsed on itself and is in the final stages of its evolution.
Elements in white dwarfs:
Calcium is the most easily noticed element and has been found in ........ Read more »
S. Xu (许偲艺), M. Jura, D. Koester, B. Klein, B. Zuckerman. (2014) Elemental compositions of two extrasolar rocky planetesimals. The Astrophysical Journal. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/783/2/79
Eight-week strengthening programs that address the posterolateral hip muscles or quadriceps improve patellofemoral pain for up to 6 months. The outcomes were better for the posterolateral hip strengthening group. ... Read more »
Khayambashi K, Fallah A, Movahedi A, Bagwell J, & Powers C. (2014) Posterolateral Hip Muscle Strengthening verses Quadriceps Strengthening for Patellofemoral Pain: A Comparative Control Trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. PMID: 24440362
Eating disorder patients commonly complain of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. This is, of course, not surprising. After all, disordered eating behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, and restriction are bound to have negative effects on the digestive system.
But just how common are GI complaints and functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) like irritable bowel syndrome among ED patients? And is there more to the r........ Read more »
Abraham, S., & Kellow, J. (2011) Exploring eating disorder quality of life and functional gastrointestinal disorders among eating disorder patients. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 70(4), 372-7. PMID: 21414458
Boyd, C., Abraham, S., & Kellow, J. (2010) Appearance and disappearance of functional gastrointestinal disorders in patients with eating disorders. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 22(12), 1279-83. PMID: 20718945
Dejong, H., Perkins, S., Grover, M., & Schmidt, U. (2011) The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in outpatients with bulimia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44(7), 661-4. PMID: 21997430
Perkins, S.J., Keville, S., Schmidt, U., & Chalder, T. (2005) Eating disorders and irritable bowel syndrome: is there a link?. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.04.375
An electrode designed like a pomegranate — with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind — overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, say its inventors at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.... Read more »
Nian Liu, Zhenda Lu, Jie Zhao, Matthew T. McDowell, Hyun-Wook Lee, Wenting Zhao . (2014) A pomegranate-inspired nanoscale design for large-volume-change lithium battery anodes. Nature Nanotechnology. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.6
It will take cell biologists an eternity to understand how cells function in a dish. It will take developmental biologists even longer to understand how cells function within a developing organism. Today’s image is from a paper describing the use of liquid droplets as cell biological crash test dummies to determine cell-generated forces within living tissue. The development of an organism and the generation of its organs depend on mechanical forces that can move cells and groups of cells. T........ Read more »
Campàs O, Mammoto T, Hasso S, Sperling RA, O'Connell D, Bischof AG, Maas R, Weitz DA, Mahadevan L, & Ingber DE. (2014) Quantifying cell-generated mechanical forces within living embryonic tissues. Nature methods, 11(2), 183-9. PMID: 24317254
I'm over at the Canadian Science Writers' Association today, talking about a new way to wipe out undesirable proteins with custom-designed molecules. "Undesirable" can mean many things, from mutated proteins in neurodegenerative diseases to proteins that cause cell death after a stroke or trauma to the brain. This post is a bit different than usual as it talks about my own recently published research. Hat tip to Colin Schultz for his excellent edits to my original draft, whic........ Read more »
Fan X, Jin WY, Lu J, Wang J, & Wang YT. (2014) Rapid and reversible knockdown of endogenous proteins by peptide-directed lysosomal degradation. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 24464042
Over 27 million Americans are estimated to be living with osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disorder that results from continual loss of cartilage that cushions the bones. OA is accompanied by increased levels of the cytokines Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in cartilage cells called chondrocytes. These cytokines have been shown to ...The post 5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »
Haseeb A, Makki MS, & Haqqi TM. (2014) Modulation of Ten Eleven Translocation 1 (TET1), Isocitrate Dehydrogenases (IDHs) expression, α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and DNA hydroxymethylation levels by IL-1β in primary human chondrocytes. The Journal of biological chemistry. PMID: 24469454
About 50 percent more of the greenhouse gas methane has been seeping into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to far-reaching findings that synthesize two decades’ worth of methane studies in North America.... Read more »
A.R. Brandt, G.A. Heath, E.A. Kort, F. O'Sullivan, G. Pétron, S.M. Jordaan, P. Tans, J. Wilcox, A.M. Gopstein, D. Arent, S. Wofsy, N.J. Brown, R. Bradley, G.D. Stucky, D. Eardley, R. Harriss. (2014) Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems. Science, 343(6172), 733-735. DOI: 10.1126/science.1247045
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