Post List

  • December 12, 2010
  • 04:00 AM

Ketogenic Diet for Alzheimer’s Disease?

by Steve Parker, M.D. in Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog

Ketogenic diets have seen a resurgence in the last two decades as a treatment for childhood epilepsy, particularly difficult-to-control cases not responding to drug therapy.  It works, even in adults.  That’s why some brain experts are wondering if ketogenic diets … Continue reading →... Read more »

Gasior M, Rogawski MA, & Hartman AL. (2006) Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behavioural pharmacology, 17(5-6), 431-9. PMID: 16940764  

  • December 11, 2010
  • 05:30 PM

The transcendant temporal lobe

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The temporal lobe of the brain - the bit just above where your ear is - keeps cropping up in studies of spirituality.

In this latest one, Peter Van Schuerbeek and colleagues from the University of Brussels have looked at the volume of grey matter in different parts of the brain in young women.

They were interested to see how the volumes of different parts of the brain correlate with personality, and in particular testing a particular model of personality called the Cloninger personality model......... Read more »

  • December 11, 2010
  • 04:39 PM

The Heightened Effects of Social Defeat on Dopamine Signaling

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Neuroscientists have found that social defeat is linked to heightened firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area: a major constituent of the reward circuitry. Does this mean that you can become physiologically addicted to defeat???... Read more »

Jun-Li Cao,1,2 Herbert E. Covington III,3 Allyson K. Friedman,4 Matthew B. Wilkinson,3 Jessica J. Walsh,4, & Donald C. Cooper,1 Eric J. Nestler,3,4 and Ming-Hu Han1,3,4. (2010) Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons in the Brain Reward Circuit Mediate Susceptibility to Social Defeat and Antidepressant Action. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(49), 16453-16458. info:/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3177-10.2010

  • December 11, 2010
  • 03:21 PM

Supramolecular chemistry

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

Some smart software developer once said to not optimize your code too early. However, not caring about it at all does not help either. Some basic knowledge of memory management can keep you going. That is, I just ran into the limits of Oscar and ChemicalTagger. As I blogged earlier today, I am analyzing the BJOC literature, but Lezan and I are running into a reproducible out-of-memory exception. At first I thought it was a memory leak, as it was the 95th paper if fell over on, but after we optim........ Read more »

Buijnsters, P. J. J. A.; García-Rodríguez, C. L.; Willighagen, E. L.; Sommerdijk, N. A. J. M.; Kremer, A.; Camilleri, P.; Feiters, M. C.; Nolte, R. J. M.; Zwanenburg, B. (2002) Cationic Gemini Surfactants Based on Tartaric Acid: Synthesis, Aggregation, Monolayer Behaviour, and Interaction with DNA. European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2002(8), 1397-1406. info:/10.1002/1099-0690(200204)2002:83.0.CO;2-6

  • December 11, 2010
  • 01:16 PM

Perspectives on Psychological Science: Blogs Don't Exist

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience ExplanationsThe previous post, Voodoo Correlations: Two Years Later, was a retrospective on the neuroimaging methods paper that was widely discussed in the blogosphere before it was considered "officially" published (Vul et al., 2009). The article, a controversial critique of the statistical analyses used by fMRI investigators in social neuroscience, made its initial appearance on Ed Vul's website once it was accepted by Perspectives in Psychological Sciences........ Read more »

Beck, D. (2010) The Appeal of the Brain in the Popular Press. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(6), 762-766. DOI: 10.1177/1745691610388779  

  • December 11, 2010
  • 11:57 AM

The Newly Discovered Giant Flores Stork

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

A new species of stork has been identified from Flores, which is the Indonesian island on which the famous "hobbit" fossils have been found. The "hobbit" is a form of hominid (human relative) that seems to be a diminutive form of Homo erectus but different enough from that widespread species to give it a distinct taxonomic status, Homo floresiensis. The Flores hominids were probably about 120 centimeters in height, and the new stork was probably about 180 centimeters in height. The following ........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2010
  • 11:11 AM

Motor bias

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Eagleman and Sejnowski report a series of experiments that go a long way to pinning down the nature of our conscious perception of movement. A number of illusions were used in experiments showing that they shared a common process: flash-lag (moving object aligned with flash is offset), flash-drag (flash is offset as result of nearby [...]... Read more »

  • December 11, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

roger penrose’s cyclical cosmology revisited

by Greg Fish in weird things

A little while ago, we looked at the cyclical cosmology resurrected by Roger Penrose and his colleague Vahe Gurzadyan, and discussed the major problems it left unaddressed. Now, physicists have tried to replicate a cosmic map with wispy concentric circles of radiation and took to arXiv with their rebuttals. Yes, they could find the circles [...]... Read more »

V.G.Gurzadyan, & R.Penrose. (2010) More on the low variance circles in CMB sky. n/a. info:/1012.1486v1

Adam Moss, Douglas Scott, & James P. Zibin. (2010) No evidence for anomalously low variance circles on the sky. n/a. arXiv: 1012.1305v1

  • December 10, 2010
  • 09:24 PM

Fatal Familial Insomnia and CJD – Dying to sleep

by Thomas Tu in Disease of the week!

In mid-1980 Italy, a 52 year old man complains of insomnia, waking easily when he does get sleep, and loss of libido. He knows it’s close to the end for him; he has seen this in his sisters. Within a … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lugaresi E, Medori R, Montagna P, Baruzzi A, Cortelli P, Lugaresi A, Tinuper P, Zucconi M, & Gambetti P. (1986) Fatal familial insomnia and dysautonomia with selective degeneration of thalamic nuclei. The New England journal of medicine, 315(16), 997-1003. PMID: 3762620  

  • December 10, 2010
  • 07:31 PM

Ep 138: The health benefits of breakfast

by westius in Mr Science Show

A world first study conducted by Menzies Research Institute Tasmania has shown that skipping breakfast over a long period of time may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The study, Skipping breakfast: longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed up a 1985 national sample of 9–15 year old Australian children. The original work looked at whether ........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2010
  • 05:46 PM

Mucous Cancer - The mess of Pseudomyxoma peritonei

by James Byrne in Disease Prone

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This post is very important to me for two reasons. First of it’s my very first proper post at my new home here at Disease Prone. Secondly it is a post I have been in the process of putting together for a while after it was suggested to me by my lovely wife, a ........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

When Your Powers Combine...

by Dan in The Endolymph

Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus are a highly migratory, pelagic, marine fish species.  Although I have never personally indulged myself by eating this fish, I have little doubt they are delicious.  How can I make such an assessment?  Well, Atlantic bluefin tuna are one of the most endangered animals on the planet and most assessments suggest they are on the brink of extinction.  The obvious solution to this problem would be to close down the Atlantic bluefin tuna fisher........ Read more »

Block BA, Teo SL, Walli A, Boustany A, Stokesbury MJ, Farwell CJ, Weng KC, Dewar H, & Williams TD. (2005) Electronic tagging and population structure of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Nature, 434(7037), 1121-7. PMID: 15858572  

Rooker, J.R., D.H. Secor, V.S. Zdanowicz, G. De Metrio, & L. Orsi Relini. (2003) Identification of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) stocks from putative nurseries using otolith chemistry. Fisheries Oceanography, 12(2), 75-84. info:/

  • December 10, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

Fetal Testosterone and Autistic Traits - Part II: Eye Contact

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Part of an ongoing series examining the empirical support for Simon Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" theory of autism... Read more »

Lutchmaya, S., Baron-Cohen, S., & Raggatt, P. (2002) Foetal testosterone and eye contact in 12-month-old human infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 25(3), 327-335. DOI: 10.1016/S0163-6383(02)00094-2  

  • December 10, 2010
  • 04:35 PM

Microsatellite loci for Symbiodinium A3 Identified using next-generation sequencing

by epibio in EpiCentral

Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), are molecular markers that can be readily investigated for population genetic studies. Microsatellites contain tandem repeats of 1-6 bases and are usually highly polymorphic, displaying a large number of alleles. The high degree of polymorphism makes microsatellites an ideal tool for studying gene-flow.

A recent study by Pinzon et al. developed ten polymorphic microsatellite loci for a common algae (Symbiodinium fitti, type A3) to study coral-........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2010
  • 03:02 PM

How to get rich fast with batteries

by Joerg Heber in All That Matters

The title of this blog post is a bit tongue in cheek, but the situation isn’t that far from the truth when it comes to rechargeable batteries such as lithium-ion batteries. Ever since lithium-ion batteries were first commercialized in 1991 by Sony, based on work by John Goodenough and others, they have been highly successful in the [...]... Read more »

Padhi, A., Nanjundaswamy, K.S., & Goodenough, J.B. (1997) Phospho-olivines as Positive-Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 144(4), 1188. DOI: 10.1149/1.1837571  

Chan, C., Peng, H., Liu, G., McIlwrath, K., Zhang, X., Huggins, R., & Cui, Y. (2007) High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires. Nature Nanotechnology, 3(1), 31-35. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2007.411  

Huang, J., Zhong, L., Wang, C., Sullivan, J., Xu, W., Zhang, L., Mao, S., Hudak, N., Liu, X., Subramanian, A.... (2010) In Situ Observation of the Electrochemical Lithiation of a Single SnO2 Nanowire Electrode. Science, 330(6010), 1515-1520. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195628  

  • December 10, 2010
  • 12:58 PM

Speaking of Plowing

by teofilo in Gambler's House

The postulated connection between plow-based agriculture and a highly inegalitarian system of gender roles that I was talking about in the previous post reminded me of another paper about plowing and gender in a very different context.  This article, by Robin Ganev of the University of Regina, was published in the Journal of the History [...]... Read more »

  • December 10, 2010
  • 12:43 PM

Hypertension Treatment with Renal Nerve Ablation

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The neuroscience of hypertension covers several important domains.  Untreated hypertension can lead to central nervous complications such as stroke and vascular dementia.  Patients with essential hypertension show hyperactive renal sympathetic nerve outflow.  This produces several effects increasing blood pressure including: stimulation of renin, increased kidney sodium reabsorption and reduced blood flow to the kidney.  The kidney signals the brain areas controlling central ........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2010
  • 12:01 PM

Financial incentives and the brain's reward system

by NeuroKüz in NeuroKüz

Neuroeconomics is a big buzzword.Behavioural economics and the psychology of decision-making have rich histories, but with emerging brain imaging technology, we're now able to peer into some of the intricacies of neural processes as they occur while someone is making an important financial decision. The hope is that studies of brain activity will help guide economic theory and practice.In a study recently published in PNAS, Japanese researchers used functional MRI to examine brain responses to a........ Read more »

Murayama K, Matsumoto M, Izuma K, & Matsumoto K. (2010) From the Cover: Neural basis of the undermining effect of monetary reward on intrinsic motivation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(49), 20911-6. PMID: 21078974  

  • December 10, 2010
  • 10:29 AM

Boom: the destruction and rebirth of a marine ecosystem.

by Uncharted Atolls in Uncharted Atolls

In 1883, the world shuddered as the loudest known sound in human history echoed from its epicenter in Indonesia.  The noise generated by Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait, was heard over 3,000 kilometers aways both to the … Continue reading →... Read more »

C. J. Starger, P. H. Barber, Ambariyanto, & A. C. Baker. (2010) The recovery of coral genetic diversity in the Sunda Strait following the 1883 eruption of Krakatau. Coral Reefs, 547-565. info:/10.1007/s00338-010-0609-2

  • December 10, 2010
  • 09:52 AM

No Substitute for IRL Relationships for Adolescents

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Credit: Scott Hampson
It's no secret that the Internet is a black hole when it comes to time. Fifteen minutes on Twitter spirals into an hour or two of witty banter. A quick stop on Facebook to read statuses or water crops becomes three hours looking at photos from someone's vacation or wedding. (And email? Fuggedaboutit!) But it's easy to be online—simple and almost instantaneous access to all your friends and connections, and none of them need to know you're in your pajamas. And you c........ Read more »

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