A new study suggests that receiving rewards as you learn can help cement new facts and skills in your memory, particularly when combined with a daytime nap. The findings from the University of Geneva reveal that memories associated with a reward are preferentially reinforced by sleep. Even a short nap after a period of learning is beneficial.... Read more »
Igloi, K., Gaggioni, G., Sterpenich, V., & Schwartz, S. (2015) A nap to recap or how reward regulates hippocampal-prefrontal memory networks during daytime sleep in humans. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.07903
It begins as a fairy tale which later turns into a horror story: Lusciously flowering plants, surrounded by a large number of insects. Usually, both sides profit from the encounter: Feasting on the plant juice and pollen, the insects pollinate the flowers and thus secure the survival of the plants. However, sometimes the insects – in this case a certain species of leafhoppers – can bring disaster to the plants, which they are not able to overcome.... Read more »
Rümpler F, Gramzow L, Theißen G, & Melzer R. (2015) Did Convergent Protein Evolution Enable Phytoplasmas to Generate 'Zombie Plants'?. Trends in plant science. PMID: 26463218
It's tempting to believe that people these days aren't getting enough sleep, living as we do in our well-lit houses with TVs blaring, cell phones buzzing, and a well-used coffee maker in every kitchen. But new evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 15 shows that three ancient groups of hunter-gatherers--living in different parts of the world without any of those trappings of modern life--don't get any more sleep than we do.... Read more »
Yetish et al. (2015) Natural Sleep and Its Seasonal Variations in Three Pre-industrial Societies. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.046
Why some people live much longer than others is an enduring mystery. Now, based on a study of a worm, scientists are getting one step closer to understanding longevity. They report that the metabolic profiles of the worms could accurately predict how long they would live and that middle age could be a key turning point.... Read more »
Sarah K. Davies, Jacob G. Bundy, & Armand M. Leroi. (2015) Metabolic Youth in Middle Age: Predicting Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans Using Metabolomics. Journal of proteome research. info:/10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00442
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 »
Arnedo, J., Mamah, D., Baranger, D., Harms, M., Barch, D., Svrakic, D., de Erausquin, G., Cloninger, C., & Zwir, I. (2015) Decomposition of brain diffusion imaging data uncovers latent schizophrenias with distinct patterns of white matter anisotropy. NeuroImage, 43-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.083
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 »
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:/
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
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
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 »
Pechenick EA, Danforth CM, & Dodds PS. (2015) Characterizing the Google Books Corpus: Strong Limits to Inferences of Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Evolution. PloS one, 10(10). PMID: 26445406
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 »
Cordeiro Matos, S., Zhang, Z., & Seguela, P. (2015) Peripheral Neuropathy Induces HCN Channel Dysfunction in Pyramidal Neurons of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(38), 13244-13256. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0799-15.2015
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 mod........ Read more »
Shen C, & Björk BC. (2015) 'Predatory' open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics. BMC medicine, 230. PMID: 26423063
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
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 »
Rubin, M., & Kelly, B. (2015) A cross-sectional investigation of parenting style and friendship as mediators of the relation between social class and mental health in a university community. International Journal for Equity in Health, 14(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s12939-015-0227-2
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 »
Walker, D., Laczniak, R., Carlson, L., & Brocato, E. (2015) Parenting Orientations as Antecedents of Children's Violent Videogame Play. Journal of Consumer Affairs. DOI: 10.1111/joca.12096
The Open Library of Humanities (openlibhums.org) is no longer a project. On September 28th, 2015 the mega-journal for humanities and the social sciences came into existence, and at the same time a new funding model. … Read More →... Read more »
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 »
Tuttle, A., Tohyama, S., Ramsay, T., Kimmelman, J., Schweinhardt, P., Bennett, G., & Mogil, J. (2015) Increasing placebo responses over time in U.S. clinical trials of neuropathic pain. PAIN, 1. DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000333
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
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:/
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 ........ Read more »
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