In 2008, Google entered the flu monitoring game by launching Google Flu Trends. Now, a team of Italian researchers report that Twitter could be used in an even more reliable way. ... Read more »
Gesualdo F, Stilo G, Agricola E, Gonfiantini MV, Pandolfi E, Velardi P . (2013) Influenza-like illness surveillance on Twitter through automated learning of naïve language. PLoS ONE . DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082489
After looking at sexually arousing images, men, but not women, become more impatient for financial rewards and more willing to take financial risks. Now a study has shown that women too show these changes to their decision making if they touch "sexually laden stimuli" - in this case men's boxer shorts! Across three studies, Anouk Festjens and her colleagues led over a hundred female undergrads to believe they were taking part in customer research for a clothing manufacturer. The women hand........ Read more »
Anouk Festjens, Sabrina Bruyneel, & Siegfried Dewitte. (2013) What a feeling! Touching sexually laden stimuli makes women seek rewards. Journal of Consumer Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcps.2013.10.001
A team of scientists at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has successfully increased the reactivity of the ceramic material—ceria—a million fold. One possible application is solar concentrators used to convert solar energy into hydrogen.... Read more »
Vincenzo Esposito, De Wei Ni, Zeming He, Wei Zhang, Aditya Shanker Prasad, Julie A. Glasscock, Christodoulos Chatzichristodoulou, Severine Ramousse, Andreas Kaiser. (2013) Enhanced mass diffusion phenomena in highly defective doped ceria. Acta Materialia, 61(16), 6290-6300. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2013.07.012
Climate pioneer Jim Hansen and a stellar research team have shown that 1°C warming is the limit if we’re to avoid dangerous and potentially illegal consequences for the young - and we're already at 0.8°C.... Read more »
James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Frank Ackerman, David J. Beerling, Paul J. Hearty, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Shi-Ling Hsu, Camille Parmesan, Johan Rockstrom, Eelco J. Rohling, Jeffrey Sachs, Pete Smith, Konrad Steffen, Lise. (2013) Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature . PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081648
All nerve cells are encased in sheath of myelin, which supports cells and acts as an electrical insulator allowing signals to be transmitted along the length of the axon (Hartline, 2008). Myelination of nerve cells usually starts during foetal development, … Continue reading →... Read more »
Pemberton TJ, Choi S, Mayer JA, Li FY, Gokey N, Svaren J, Safra N, Bannasch DL, Sullivan K, Breuhaus B.... (2014) A mutation in the canine gene encoding folliculin-interacting protein 2 (FNIP2) associated with a unique disruption in spinal cord myelination. Glia, 62(1), 39-51. PMID: 24272703
This illustration shows gas pulled from a companion star into a disk around by a white dwarf star, where it's funneled down to the dwarf's surface. (Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)
Illustration to show gas pulled from a companion star into a disk around by a white dwarf star, where it's funneled down to the dwarf's surface. (Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)
Scientists have reported an unusual, tidally-distorted extremely low mass white dwarf having almost the same amoun........ Read more »
A. Gianninas, J. J. Hermes, Warren R. Brown, P. Dufour, Sara D. Barber, Mukremin Kilic, Scott J. Kenyon, & Samuel T. Harrold. (2013) SDSS J074511.56 194926.5: Discovery of a Metal-Rich and Tidally Distorted Extremely Low Mass White Dwarf. arXiv. arXiv: 1312.1665v1
It’s possible that self-driving cars will obviate the need to ask questions about human decision-making behind the wheel, but until that happens there’s a lot of utility in figuring out why drivers drive in a certain way. Along these lines, a new study from a Alberto Megías and his collaborators at the University of Granada poses […]... Read more »
Megías, A., Di Stasi, L.L., Maldonado, A., Catena, A., & Cándido, A. (2013) Emotion-laden stimuli influence our reactions to traffic lights. Transportation Research Part F. DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2013.09.017
Non-copers have higher levels of kinesiophobia before an ACL reconstruction and larger overall decreases in kinesiophobia following surgery compared with potential copers. There was no relationship between kinesiophobia and functional ability (e.g., quadriceps strength, hop tests).... Read more »
Hartigan EH, Lynch AD, Logerstedt DS, Chmielewski TL, & Snyder-Mackler L. (2013) Kinesiophobia after anterior cruciate ligament rupture and reconstruction: noncopers versus potential copers. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 43(11), 821-32. PMID: 24175594
Sex is not much fun for female chickens. Even though they are likely to have many partners, female chickens have little choice over with whom they mate. On top of this, male chickens are anything but picky and will copulate with whoever comes their way, including their sisters. But female chickens can still have the last squawk—instead of choosing a partner, they select the sperm that fertilises their eggs.Male and female red jungle fows (Gallus gallus)It’s easy to understand why being promi........ Read more »
Lovlie H., Gillingham M. A. F., Worley K., Pizzari T., & Richardson D. S. (2013) Cryptic female choice favours sperm from major histocompatibility complex-dissimilar males. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1769), 20131296-20131296. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1296
So, leaky gut, the gut microbiota and the immune system in relation to autism then? Maybe not so 'on the fringe' as you might have thought.Readers are asked to consider this entry an extension of the post I published last year (see here) talking about some very interesting research coming out of the laboratory of Prof. Paul Patterson at CalTech. If you need any sort of background, Prof. Patterson and his team have for quite a while been investigating the concept of maternal immune activation (MI........ Read more »
Elaine Y. Hsiao, Sara W. McBride, Sophia Hsien, Gil Sharon, Embriette R. Hyde, Tyler McCue, Julian A. Codelli, Janet Chow, Sarah E. Reisman, Joseph F. Petrosino.... (2013) Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.11.024
A University of Houston (UH) geoscientist and his colleagues are revealing new discoveries about the Earth’s development, following a major international expedition that recovered the first-ever drill core from the lower crust of the Pacific Ocean.
Reference Paper and Further reading at TK's page... Read more »
Gillis KM, Snow JE, Klaus A, Abe N, Adrião AB, Akizawa N, Ceuleneer G, Cheadle MJ, Faak K, Falloon TJ.... (2013) Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust. Nature. PMID: 24291793
Researchers at the University of Missouri are working on a new technology to stop oil spills, using something they call a virtual wall. This technique has already allowed scientists to confine oily liquids to a certain area, aiding the study of these complex molecules.... Read more »
Almeida R., & Kwon J.W. (2013) Virtual walls based on oil-repellent surfaces for low-surface-tension liquids. Langmuir, 29(4), 994-8. PMID: 23311883
Several years ago I published a research study that showing testosterone augmentation improved metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity in men with type 2 diabetes.Testosterone appears to influence weight including abdominal fat deposition. The mechanism for this relationship is unclear. Additionally, the relationship between testosterone and diabetes risk is unclear.A recent study from Taiwan has provided some additional insight into the role of low testosterone and diabetes risk.Ho and colle........ Read more »
Chen-Hsun Ho,1,2 Hong-Jeng Yu,2 Chih-Yuan Wang,3 Fu-Shan Jaw,4 Ju-Ton Hsieh,2 Wan-Chung Liao,5 Yeong-Shiau Pu,2 and Shih-Ping Liu2,*. (2013) Prediabetes Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Testosterone Deficiency, Independent of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. PLoS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074173
Spiders eating bats The biggest spiders are bigger than the smallest bats, and many spiders build a specific trapping tool: an orb web. Why should not spiders prey bats? Well, indeed they do; and these large and energetically rewarding prey may be important for them... Read more »
You might never spot them if not for the jumping. On the coast of Guam, Pacific leaping blennies blend in perfectly with the rocks they live on, their limbless bodies maintaining a sleek profile. But the creatures give themselves away when they coil their tails to one side and shoot like a spring from rock to rock. These unsettling animals are fish that live on land. How they pull it off could give us hints about the evolution of our first earthbound ancestors.Terry Ord, an evolutionary ecologis........ Read more »
Courtney L. Morgans, & Terry J. Ord. (2013) Natural selection in novel environments: predation selects for background matching in the body colour of a land fish. Animal Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.09.027
Anatoly Frenkel, a professor of physics at Yeshiva University, is collaborating with materials scientist Eric Stach and others at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory to develop new ways to study the behavior of catalytic nanoparticles.... Read more »
Li L., Wang L.L., Johnson D.D., Zhang Z., Sanchez S.I., Kang J.H., Nuzzo R.G., Wang Q., Frenkel A.I., Li J.... (2013) Noncrystalline-to-crystalline transformations in Pt nanoparticles. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135(35), 13062-72. PMID: 23869582
This video and picture were made in 2011, but are currently reliving their fame on social media. The material is cute, of course, and interesting. It shows how encaptured chimps can be taught to care for their predator’s cubs. A chimp’s natural environment can also make him do just the opposite. In 1986 researchers described how a group of wild chimpanzees deliberately managed to drag a leopard’s cub away from its mother and then kill it.... Read more »
Hiraiwa-Hasegawa M, Byrne RW, Takasaki H, & Byrne JM. (1986) Aggression toward large carnivores by wild chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology, 47(1), 8-13. PMID: 3557232
Studying the ways people talk to themselves in their own minds is incredibly tricky because as soon as you ask them about it, you're likely interfering with the process you want to investigate. As William James said, some forms of introspective analysis are like "… trying to turn up the gas quickly enough to see how the darkness looks."For many years Russell Hurlbert and his colleagues have used a technique that they believe offers the best way to study what they call "pristine" inner speaking........ Read more »
Researchers have reported that vitamin D supplementation for 3 years or more significantly decreases all-cause mortality in female patients with vitamin D insufficiency.
Vitamin DVitamin D:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs in fish-liver oils and is often added to milk. They are essential for the formation of bones and teeth. Lack of vitamin D causes rickets. Vitamin D deficiency below baseline levels ........ Read more »
Yayuan Zheng et al. (2013) Meta-Analysis of Long-Term Vitamin D Supplementation on Overall Mortality. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082109
Although openness to experience is usually associated with decreased dogmatism, a new study found that among atheists greater openness is associated with greater dogmatism. ... Read more »
Gurney, D. J., McKeown, S., Churchyard, J., & Howlett, N. (2013) Believe it or not: Exploring the relationship between dogmatism and openness within non-religious samples. Personality and Individual Differences. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.07.471
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