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  • October 13, 2015
  • 02:48 PM

Schizophrenia symptoms linked to features of brain’s anatomy?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using advanced brain imaging, researchers have matched certain behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia to features of the brain’s anatomy. The findings, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, could be a step toward improving diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia.... Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 08:39 PM

Supercoiled DNA is far more dynamic than the ‘Watson-Crick’ double helix

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have imaged in unprecedented detail the three-dimensional structure of supercoiled DNA, revealing that its shape is much more dynamic than the well-known double helix.

Various DNA shapes, including figure-8s, were imaged using a powerful microscopy technique by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US, and then examined using supercomputer simulations run at the University of Leeds.... Read more »

Irobalieva, R., Fogg, J., Catanese, D., Sutthibutpong, T., Chen, M., Barker, A., Ludtke, S., Harris, S., Schmid, M., Chiu, W.... (2015) Structural diversity of supercoiled DNA. Nature Communications, 8440. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9440  

  • October 11, 2015
  • 05:31 PM

History of Cataloguing 3: Cutters’ Objects and Means

by Anne Welsh in Library Marginalia

In the third in the series covering the historical texts suggested in the reading list for INSTG004 Cataloguing, this post discusses the continuing influence of Charles Ammi Cutters' ideas, as expressed in his Rules for a Printed Dictionary Catalogue (1876).... Read more »

Charles Ammi Cutter. (1876) Rules for a Printed Dictionary Catalogue. Internet Archive. info:/

  • October 11, 2015
  • 02:52 PM

Immune gene prevents Parkinson’s disease and dementia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

An estimated seven to ten million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is an incurable and progressive disease of the nervous system affecting movement and cognitive function. More than half of PD patients develop progressive disease showing signs of dementia similar to Alzheimer’s disease.... Read more »

Ejlerskov, P., Hultberg, J., Wang, J., Carlsson, R., Ambjørn, M., Kuss, M., Liu, Y., Porcu, G., Kolkova, K., Friis Rundsten, C.... (2015) Lack of Neuronal IFN-β-IFNAR Causes Lewy Body- and Parkinson’s Disease-like Dementia. Cell, 163(2), 324-339. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.069  

  • October 10, 2015
  • 02:22 PM

Blood clotting protein triggers immune attack on the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study from the Gladstone Institutes shows that a single drop of blood in the brain is sufficient to activate an autoimmune response akin to multiple sclerosis (MS). This is the first demonstration that introduction of blood in the healthy brain is sufficient to cause peripheral immune cells to enter the brain, which then go on to cause brain damage.... Read more »

Ryu, J., Petersen, M., Murray, S., Baeten, K., Meyer-Franke, A., Chan, J., Vagena, E., Bedard, C., Machado, M., Coronado, P.... (2015) Blood coagulation protein fibrinogen promotes autoimmunity and demyelination via chemokine release and antigen presentation. Nature Communications, 8164. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9164  

  • October 10, 2015
  • 07:34 AM

Can Google Books Really Tell Us About Cultural Evolution?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In 2009, Google made available Google Books (also known as the Ngram corpus), a database that now includes over 8 million books from libraries around the world. The books comprise a collection of words (over 500 billion English words) and phrases and this dataset is freely available for research use. The Books corpus allows researchers to examine changes in the frequency of word use in books over time, dating back to 1800.

This has led a lot of striking findings. So for instance, it has b... Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 11:26 PM

Pain is in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Chronic pain results from disease or trauma to the nervous system. Damaged nerve fibres with heightened responses to normal stimuli send incorrect messages to pain centres in the brain. This phenomenon, called “peripheral and central sensitization” is one of the key mechanisms involved in the condition which touches people with diabetes, cancer, and those suffering from multiple sclerosis, among others.... Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 07:14 AM

Open Access vs Predator

by Nesru Koroso in United Academics

Predatory Open Access publishers on the rise

open access, publishing, open access publishing, predators, predatory publishing, articles, peer review

The increase in so-called “predatory” Open Access publishers is posing a threat to the integrity of Open Access publishing. Predatory Open Access publishers charge authors high publishing fees without providing proper editorial and peer review services. They are abusing the opportunity created by the Gold Open Access publishing model which requires authors to pay article processing charges.... Read more »

  • October 8, 2015
  • 01:21 PM

Sex change hormonal treatments alter brain chemistry

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Hormonal treatments administered as part of the procedures for sex reassignment have well-known and well-documented effects on the secondary sexual characteristics of the adult body, shifting a recipient’s physical appearance to that of the opposite sex. New research indicates that these hormonal treatments also alter brain chemistry.... Read more »

Kranz, G., Wadsak, W., Kaufmann, U., Savli, M., Baldinger, P., Gryglewski, G., Haeusler, D., Spies, M., Mitterhauser, M., Kasper, S.... (2015) High-Dose Testosterone Treatment Increases Serotonin Transporter Binding in Transgender People. Biological Psychiatry, 78(8), 525-533. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.09.010  

  • October 7, 2015
  • 11:30 PM

Social Class Differences in Mental Health: Do Parenting Style and Friendship Play a Role?

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

It is now well-established that social class is positively related to mental health. However, researchers remain unclear about the specific processes that underlie the relation between social class and depression. In some recent research, we investigated the potential roles of parenting style and friendship in explaining the relationship between social class and mental health.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 06:19 PM

Parents influence children’s play of violent video games

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Parents who are more anxious and emotional can impact the amount of violent video games their children play, according to new consumer research from Iowa State University. Russell Laczniak, a professor of marketing and the John and Connie Stafford Professor in Business, says given the harmful effects of violent video games, he and his colleagues wanted to better understand how parents influence children’s behavior.... Read more »

  • October 6, 2015
  • 01:51 PM

American placebo – An increase in the placebo response, but only in America?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs designed to control chronic pain caused by nerve damage. Surprisingly, however, the analysis of clinical trials conducted since 1990 found that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted wholly in the U.S.; trials conducted in Europe or Asia showed no changes in placebo responses over that period.... Read more »

  • October 5, 2015
  • 06:48 PM

Gut bacteria population, diversity linked to anorexia nervosa

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that people with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities residing inside their guts compared to healthy individuals and that this bacterial imbalance is associated with some of the psychological symptoms related to the eating disorder.... Read more »

Kleiman, S., Watson, H., Bulik-Sullivan, E., Huh, E., Tarantino, L., Bulik, C., & Carroll, I. (2015) The Intestinal Microbiota in Acute Anorexia Nervosa and During Renourishment. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000247  

  • October 4, 2015
  • 05:36 PM

History of Cataloguing. 2. Jewett

by Anne Welsh in Library Marginalia

The second in a series on the History of Cataloguing, this post highlights OCLC's news that they will no longer be printing catalogue cards and provides an insight into Charles Coffin Jewett's suggestion that shared cataloguing be undertaken, led by the Smithsonian Institution in the mid-nineteenth century.... Read more »

Charles Coffin Jewett. (1853) On the Construction of Catalogues of Libraries, and their Publication by Means of Separate, Stereotyped Titles, with Rules and Examples. 2nd ed. Hathi Trust Digital Library. info:/

  • October 4, 2015
  • 01:39 PM

Brain networking: behind the cognitive control of thoughts

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The human brain does not come with an operating manual. However, a group of scientists have developed a way to convert structural brain imaging techniques into “wiring diagrams” of connections between brain regions. Three researchers from UCSB’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences — Michael Miller, Scott Grafton and Matt Cieslak — used the structure of neural networks to reveal the fundamental rules that govern which parts of the brain are most able to exert cognitive control over thoughts and actions.... Read more »

Gu, S., Pasqualetti, F., Cieslak, M., Telesford, Q., Yu, A., Kahn, A., Medaglia, J., Vettel, J., Miller, M., Grafton, S.... (2015) Controllability of structural brain networks. Nature Communications, 8414. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9414  

  • October 3, 2015
  • 02:21 PM

Can exercise be replaced with a pill?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop “exercise pills” that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body. But a review of current development efforts ponders whether such pills will achieve their potential therapeutic impact, at least in the near future.... Read more »

Laher, & et al. (2015) Exercise Pills: At the Starting Line?. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. info:/

  • October 2, 2015
  • 07:47 PM

High-fructose diet slows recovery from brain injury

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Well bad news for those of us who have a sweet tooth, a diet high in processed fructose sabotages rat brains’ ability to heal after head trauma, UCLA neuroscientists report. While this doesn’t necessarily translate to humans quite yet, it should still raise a few eyebrows given the results from the study.... Read more »

Rahul Agrawal, Emily Noble1, Laurent Vergnes, Zhe Ying1, Karen Reue, & Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. (2015) Dietary fructose aggravates the pathobiology of traumatic brain injury by influencing energy homeostasis and plasticity. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow . info:/10.1177/0271678X15606719

  • October 1, 2015
  • 02:41 PM

Coincidence or conspiracy? Studies investigate conspiracist thinking

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In pop culture, conspiracy believers — like FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X Files or professor Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code — tend to reject the notion of coincidence or chance; even the most random-seeming events are thought to result from some sort of intention or design. And researchers have suggested that such a bias against randomness may explain real-world conspiracy beliefs. But new research from psychological scientists shows no evidence for a link between conspiracist thinking and perceptions of order, design, or intent.... Read more »

  • October 1, 2015
  • 11:44 AM

Project Making Data Count encourages sharing of research data

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Sharing of research data (open data) is increasing in all areas related to scientific research, and it involves authors, journals, publishers, funding agencies, the productive sector and society. In order to encourage authors to provide and reuse datasets, it is paramount to find ways to measure their impact. The initiative ‘Making Data Count’ is efficiently doing this, find out how. … Read More →... Read more »

KRATZ, J. E.,, & STRASSER, C. (2015) Making data count. Scientific Data. DOI:  

  • September 30, 2015
  • 10:09 PM

Scientists identify key receptor as potential target for treatment of autism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered a significant–and potentially treatable–relationship between a chemical that helps transmit signals in the brain and genetic mutations present in a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The new research findings focus on the role that the neurotransmitter serotonin plays in the development of social behavior.... Read more »

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