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United Academics Connects Science to Society.
Current therapies of heavily injured muscles imply surgical removal of the scar tissue and transplantation of immature muscles cells. Unfortunately, the transplanted cells are often unable to survive after transfer into patients. Now scientists bypassed this problem by providing the damaged tissue only with a biological scaffold of Extracellular Matrix (ECM). The results are promising.... Read more »
Brian M. Sicari, J. Peter Rubin, Christopher L. Dearth, Matthew T. Wolf, Fabrisia Ambrosio, Michael Boninger, Neill J. Turner, Douglas J. Weber, Tyler W. Simpson, Aaron Wyse, Elke H. P. Brown, Jenna L. Dziki, Lee E. Fisher, Spencer Brown, Stephen F. Badyl. (2014) An acellular biological scaffold promotes skeletal muscle formation in mice and humans with Volumetric Muscle Loss. Science Translational Medicine . info:/
The company Foc.us Labs has recently released a commercial tDCS headset directed towards video-gamers. The electrodes are placed on the gamer’s forehead so that the prefrontal cortex is targeted with 1-2 milliamps of current for 5-40 minutes. It improves performance, shows research. But is it really healthy?... Read more »
McIntire, L., McKinley, R., Goodyear, C., & Nelson, J. (2014) A Comparison of the Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Caffeine on Vigilance and Cognitive Performance During Extended Wakefulness. Brain Stimulation. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2014.04.008
Santarnecchi, E., Feurra, M., Galli, G., Rossi, A., & Rossi, S. (2013) Overclock Your Brain for Gaming? Ethical, Social and Health Care Risks. Brain Stimulation, 6(5), 713-714. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2013.07.005
The origin of zebra stripes has long been a mystery: in over a century, scientists developed various hypotheses. Social factors, cooling mechanisms and camouflage against predators, were proposed as possible explanations. However, no striking evidence could support one particular theory, so the black and white striping in zebra was believed to remain a grey area.... Read more »
Growth of biomedical research simultaneously hinders and advances its development.
This week brought to the forefront two important pieces of news in the field of biomedical research. Bad news first – the future of biomedical research looks bleak if things are not going to change. Then the good news – depending on your views on science, this second bit could be either head-scratching or eye opening: Scientists in the Scripps Research Institute, following years of research, have been able to create a synthetic organism with an “artificial DNA”.... Read more »
Alberts B, Kirschner MW, Tilghman S, & Varmus H. (2014) Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(16), 5773-7. PMID: 24733905
Malyshev DA, Dhami K, Lavergne T, Chen T, Dai N, Foster JM, Corrêa IR Jr, & Romesberg FE. (2014) A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Nature, 509(7500), 385-8. PMID: 24805238
Recent research shows how alpha-ketoglutarate increases life-span of worms... Read more »
Chin RM, Fu X, Pai MY, Vergnes L, Hwang H, Deng G, Diep S, Lomenick B, Meli VS, Monsalve GC.... (2014) The metabolite α-ketoglutarate extends lifespan by inhibiting ATP synthase and TOR. Nature. PMID: 24828042
Research reveals that fungus from the Dead Sea can address environmental challenges.... Read more »
Kis-Papo, T., Weig, A., Riley, R., Peršoh, D., Salamov, A., Sun, H., Lipzen, A., Wasser, S., Rambold, G., Grigoriev, I.... (2014) Genomic adaptations of the halophilic Dead Sea filamentous fungus Eurotium rubrum. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4745
It was easy for Dodo's to perish since they were stuck in one place. But, some dodos travelled. Or were forced to travel anyway. As it goes with rare things, the rarer they get, the more of a collector’s item they become for the wealthy. ... Read more »
Maybe you have already heard about the magic effects of adding a ‘Medium’ size. It makes the ‘Small’ look a little too cheap to order. But the Medium size can do even more. If it is positioned strategically close to the Large option, it even makes the most expensive option look like a fairer deal.... Read more »
Terry Connolly, & Jochen Reb Edgar E. Kausel. (2013) Regret salience and accountability in the decoy effect. Judgment and Decision Making. info:/
Moral judgement is often considered to be a fixed given, based on deep-seated ideas on what is morally right and morally wrong. But, however counter-intuitive it may seem: recent research shows that people react differently to moral dilemmas when presented in a foreign language than in their native language.... Read more »
The biotechnology tool known as CRISPR is making a big impact on medicine and other fields. It’s a collection of enzymes, originally found in the immune system of certain bacteria. One enzyme targets a particular gene, and its companion cuts out that section of DNA which may enable further changes.... Read more »
Tsai SQ, Wyvekens N, Khayter C, Foden JA, Thapar V, Reyon D, Goodwin MJ, Aryee MJ, & Joung JK. (2014) Dimeric CRISPR RNA-guided FokI nucleases for highly specific genome editing. Nature biotechnology. PMID: 24770325
As a science editor for United Academics, a website that contains numerous popular scientific articles, I explored the website to find what components make science articles more attractive. I analyzed several articles that were frequently shared on social network sites. Here are eleven tips and tricks I filtered out of these articles:... Read more »
Parkinson, J., & Adendorff, R. (2004) The use of popular science articles in teaching scientific literacy. English for Specific Purposes, 23(4), 379-396. DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2003.11.005
Urban laboratories can serve as new places for knowledge production and direct application with the goal of making cities more economically viable, socially robust and environmentally friendly.... Read more »
Evans, J., & Karvonen, A. (2014) ‘Give Me a Laboratory and I Will Lower Your Carbon Footprint!’ - Urban Laboratories and the Governance of Low-Carbon Futures. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(2), 413-430. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12077
Recent outbreaks of Ebola virus in Guinea have made international news. Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 in the region that is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. The virus was named after the river near where it was found. Since 1976, there have been multiple outbreaks in central Africa, but this year is the first time that an outbreak has occurred as far west as Guinea and Sierra Leone.... Read more »
Qiu X, Wong G, Fernando L, Audet J, Bello A, Strong J, Alimonti JB, & Kobinger GP. (2013) mAbs and Ad-Vectored IFN-α therapy rescue ebola-infected nonhuman primates when administered after the detection of viremia and symptoms. Science translational medicine, 5(207). PMID: 24132638
Pettitt, J., Zeitlin, L., Kim, D., Working, C., Johnson, J., Bohorov, O., Bratcher, B., Hiatt, E., Hume, S., Johnson, A.... (2013) Therapeutic Intervention of Ebola Virus Infection in Rhesus Macaques with the MB-003 Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail. Science Translational Medicine, 5(199), 199-199. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006608
Not that long ago, I heard about ginseng in my Plants’ Diversity class, but it was not given that much relevance. Soon after that, ginseng teas and supplements and a panoply of ginseng-made products appeared in the market. Then I finally realized I may not have given ginseng the importance it deserves.... Read more »
Lee JS, Hwang HS, Ko EJ, Lee YN, Kwon YM, Kim MC, & Kang SM. (2014) Immunomodulatory activity of red ginseng against influenza A virus infection. Nutrients, 6(2), 517-29. PMID: 24473234
The ultimate goal of all these projects is to be able to reconstruct the human brain – have a definitive computer model or a database of every neuron and its cell type and the connections between each individual cell. Is this feasible?... Read more »
A new study reveals that nanoparticles can break the rules of thermodynamic: what do these findings imply? An interview with one of the researchers. ... Read more »
Gieseler J, Quidant R, Dellago C, & Novotny L. (2014) Dynamic relaxation of a levitated nanoparticle from a non-equilibrium steady state. Nature nanotechnology. PMID: 24681775
Wang, G., Sevick, E., Mittag, E., Searles, D., & Evans, D. (2002) Experimental Demonstration of Violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics for Small Systems and Short Time Scales. Physical Review Letters, 89(5). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.050601
In a study just published in Nature Medicine, researchers have identified a new mechanism that is at least in part responsible for the brain alterations caused by loss of mTORC1 in patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder.... Read more »
Ota KT, Liu RJ, Voleti B, Maldonado-Aviles JG, Duric V, Iwata M, Dutheil S, Duman C, Boikess S, Lewis DA.... (2014) REDD1 is essential for stress-induced synaptic loss and depressive behavior. Nature medicine. PMID: 24728411
New DNA study reveals lion history and could guide conservation efforts.... Read more »
Barnett R, Yamaguchi N, Shapiro B, Ho SY, Barnes I, Sabin R, Werdelin L, Cuisin J, & Larson G. (2014) Revealing the maternal demographic history of Panthera leo using ancient DNA and a spatially explicit genealogical analysis. BMC evolutionary biology, 14(1), 70. PMID: 24690312
A new study reveals the role of sugars as initial regulator of apical dominance... Read more »
Mason MG, Ross JJ, Babst BA, Wienclaw BN, & Beveridge CA. (2014) Sugar demand, not auxin, is the initial regulator of apical dominance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24711430
Most researchers and clinicians think that making axons re-grow is an impossible task. But injecting a molecule named PCAF offers hope, as new research shows.... Read more »
Puttagunta R, Tedeschi A, Sória MG, Hervera A, Lindner R, Rathore KI, Gaub P, Joshi Y, Nguyen T, Schmandke A.... (2014) PCAF-dependent epigenetic changes promote axonal regeneration in the central nervous system. Nature communications, 3527. PMID: 24686445
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