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  • May 14, 2015
  • 02:52 PM
  • 265 views

Educating the immune system: A vaccine for allergies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With the arrival of spring, millions of people have begun their annual ritual of sneezing and wheezing due to seasonal allergies. However, a Canadian research team is bringing them hope with a potential vaccine that nudges the immune response away from developing allergies. The findings have major clinical implications since allergies and asthma are lifelong conditions that often start in childhood and for which there is presently no cure.... Read more »

  • May 13, 2015
  • 04:07 PM
  • 350 views

Can drinking alcohol harm the child before the mother knows she is pregnant?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

These days pregnant “moms to be” have lots of things to worry about, from second hand smoke to the chemicals in their make-up. Well they can unfortunately add one more thing to that list, a new study finds that alcohol drunk by a mouse in early pregnancy changes the way genes function in the brains of the offspring. The early exposure was also later apparent in the brain structure of the adult offspring. The timing of the exposure corresponds to the human gestational weeks 3-6 in terms of fe........ Read more »

Heidi Marjonen, Alejandra Sierra, Anna Nyman, Vladimir Rogojin, Olli Gröhn, Anni-Maija Linden, Sampsa Hautaniemi, & Nina Kaminen-Ahola. (2015) Early Maternal Alcohol Consumption Alters Hippocampal DNA Methylation, Gene Expression and Volume in a Mouse Model. PLOS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0124931

  • May 13, 2015
  • 12:00 PM
  • 222 views

Blondes or Brunettes: It’s All About Conditioning

by knowingneurons in Knowing Neurons

Like it or not, we all have preferences in choosing romantic partners.  Piercings, freckles, hair color, eye color, body physique – through adolescence and into adulthood, we begin to develop sexual preferences to help guide our choice in whom to talk to, whom to date, and whom to marry.  While it’s tempting to attribute these … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 12, 2015
  • 03:22 PM
  • 386 views

Enhancing peer review: guides, tutorials and good practice manuals

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The validation of scientific reports before publication is an established practice, whose effectiveness and importance is recognized by authors, publishers, funding agencies and scientific societies around the world, in order to ensure the originality, quality, reliability, integrity and consistency of scholarly literature. What has long been the exclusive prerogative of publishers and editors now relies on innovative initiatives by organizations and societies dedicated to understand and improve........ Read more »

  • May 12, 2015
  • 02:21 PM
  • 331 views

Rethinking the rebound: The unexpected effects of rejection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s portrayed in movies again and again – a character gets rejected by someone attractive and then falls willingly into the arms of someone perhaps less attractive. According to a new study, it’s not so simple: Rejection by an attractive man actually led women to socially distance themselves from an unattractive man, even when he offered acceptance.... Read more »

Geoff MacDonald1, Patricia L. Baratta, & Rebecca Tzalazidis. (2015) Resisting Connection Following Social Exclusion Rejection by an Attractive Suitor Provokes Derogation of an Unattractive Suitor. Social Psychology and Personality Science. info:/10.1177/1948550615584196

  • May 11, 2015
  • 04:02 PM
  • 387 views

GMO beef with the heart benefits of fish, why not?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sometimes you just want beef, but beef is high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in the omega-3 type. Conversely, different types of fish are high in omega-3, but we all know they don’t compare to that tasty burger flavor. So what’s a beef lover to do, well if you’re in China you might have some options! Chinese scientists have reared beef rich in the beneficial fatty acids associated with fish oils.... Read more »

Cheng, G., Fu, C., Wang, H., Adoligbe, C., Wei, S., Li, S., Jiang, B., Wang, H., & Zan, L. (2015) Production of transgenic beef cattle rich in n-3 PUFAs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Biotechnology Letters. DOI: 10.1007/s10529-015-1827-z  

  • May 11, 2015
  • 02:23 PM
  • 408 views

Peer review: The pleasure of publishing – originally published in the journal eLife in January/2015

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

When assessing manuscripts eLife editors look for a combination of rigour and insight, along with results and ideas that make other researchers think differently about their subject. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 10, 2015
  • 03:16 PM
  • 286 views

Surprise! More sex does not mean more happiness

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Countless research and self-help books claim that having more sex will lead to increased happiness, based on the common finding that those having more sex are also happier. However, there are many reasons why one might observe this positive relationship between sex and happiness. Being happy in the first place, for example, might lead someone to have more sex (what researchers call ‘reverse causality’), or being healthy might result in being both happier and having more sex.... Read more »

Loewenstein, G., Krishnamurti, T., Kopsic, J., & McDonald, D. (2015) Does Increased Sexual Frequency Enhance Happiness?. Journal of Economic Behavior . DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.04.021  

  • May 9, 2015
  • 03:58 PM
  • 318 views

What would Optimus Prime do? A business leadership model

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

According to new research, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the impact of Saturday morning cartoons. The research examines how fantasy-based stories, in particular the popular 1980s cartoon series The Transformers, can shape children’s perceptions of what behaviors are associated with effective leadership. It also could provide a basis for workplace-training programs.... Read more »

Peter D Harms, & Seth M. Spain. (2015) Children’s Stories as a Foundation for Leadership Schemas: More Than Meets the Eye. ReserachGate. info:/ResearchGate

  • May 8, 2015
  • 04:32 PM
  • 315 views

(More) bad news for Vets: PTSD linked to accelerated aging

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Before PTSD had a name there was shellshock. It was mysterious and much like today, not everyone showed symptoms and for the most part, it was written off. In recent years however, public health concerns about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have risen significantly, driven in part by affected military veterans returning home. While this has opened the door for better care for people suffering from PTSD, it has also lead to some startling revelations about the extent of damage. New researc........ Read more »

Lohr, J., Palmer, B., Eidt, C., Aailaboyina, S., Mausbach, B., Wolkowitz, O., Thorp, S., & Jeste, D. (2015) Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Associated with Premature Senescence? A Review of the Literature. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1016/j.jagp.2015.04.001  

  • May 7, 2015
  • 05:46 PM
  • 598 views

What you need to know about the newly proposed science funding legislation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The House Science Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith, unveiled their new science budget last week. Read on to see what it proposes and what it means for science.... Read more »

  • May 7, 2015
  • 03:17 PM
  • 495 views

Nanoparticles in products can significantly alter normal gut microbiome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nanoparticles, it’s the new buzzword that cosmetics and even consumer “anti-aging” products use to promote their brand. As the word suggests, nanoparticles are small and it shouldn’t be too surprising that these nanoparticles are causing problems in nature because of their prevalence. In that light, it might not be a surprise that there could also be some serious health issues associated with these nanoparticles.... Read more »

  • May 6, 2015
  • 03:59 PM
  • 355 views

eLife: an example of improved peer review

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The online open access peer reviewed journal eLife publishes articles in biomedicine and life sciences. The nonprofit publication emerged from the ideas of its founders to create a publication model that met the needs of the academic community regarding editorial policy. The journal relies on a staff of Senior Editors made of renowned, experienced researchers, which are active in their fields. Its peer review process is innovative and aims to ensure clear assessment goals as well as constructive........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 543 views

Researchers find new clues in treating chronic pain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A chemical in the brain typically associated with cognition, movement and reward-motivation behavior — among others — may also play a role in promoting chronic pain, according to new research. The chemical, dopamine, sets the stage for many important brain functions, but the mechanisms that cause it to contribute to chronic pain are less well understood.... Read more »

Kim, J., Tillu, D., Quinn, T., Mejia, G., Shy, A., Asiedu, M., Murad, E., Schumann, A., Totsch, S., Sorge, R.... (2015) Spinal Dopaminergic Projections Control the Transition to Pathological Pain Plasticity via a D1/D5-Mediated Mechanism. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(16), 6307-6317. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3481-14.2015  

  • May 5, 2015
  • 02:36 PM
  • 322 views

Mind reading: Researchers observe moment a mind is changed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers studying how the brain makes decisions have, for the first time, recorded the moment-by-moment fluctuations in brain signals that occur when a monkey making free choices has a change of mind. The findings result from experiments led by electrical engineering Professor Krishna Shenoy, whose Stanford lab focuses on movement control and neural prostheses – such as artificial arms – controlled by the user’s brain.... Read more »

  • May 4, 2015
  • 07:22 PM
  • 629 views

Fracked, shale-drilling additives in drinking-water taps near leak

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Shale oil has helped the US see lower gas prices and even an opportunity to start exporting. However, it isn’t as great as it might sound, hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — has been scrutinized by environmentalists since it’s inception. As it turns out, for good reason, substances commonly used for drilling or extracting Marcellus shale gas foamed from the drinking water taps of three Pennsylvania homes near a reported well-pad leak, according to new analysis from a team of........ Read more »

Garth T. Llewellyn, Frank Dorman, J. L. Westland, D. Yoxtheimer, Paul Grieve, Todd Sowers, E. Humston-Fulmer, & Susan L. Brantley. (2015) Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1420279112

  • May 3, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 428 views

Procrastinate much? Science offers a way to stop

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Procrastination is the thief of time that derails New Year’s resolutions and delays saving for college or retirement, but researchers have found a way to collar it.

The trick? Think of the future as now. ... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 10:00 PM
  • 396 views

Intuition and Domain Knowledge

by Joshua Fisher in School of Doubt

While knowledge and process are both important, knowledge is more important. Even though each of the tasks in this experiment was more “intuitive” (non-decomposable) than analytical in nature, and even when the approach taken to the task was “intuitive,” knowledge trumped process. Process had no significant effect by itself. Knowing stuff is good.... Read more »

  • May 2, 2015
  • 03:48 PM
  • 352 views

Walking an extra two minutes each hour may offset hazards of sitting too long

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Eat less, workout more, these are the messages we are being sent almost on a daily basis. But how do we quantify “more” and who really should listen to that advice? Well a new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick.... Read more »

  • May 1, 2015
  • 03:05 PM
  • 308 views

US clinics avoiding government oversight of ‘stem cell’ treatments

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Clinics across the United States are advertising stem cell treatments that attempt to take advantage of what they perceive as exceptions in FDA regulations.The therapies in question are adipose-derived autologous stem cell treatments, in which fat cells are removed from a patient, broken down to separate components that purportedly contain stem cells, and are then reinjected into the same patient.... Read more »

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