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  • December 11, 2014
  • 12:08 PM
  • 339 views

What makes us fat, OR food vs. physiology

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a heir of mystery surrounding weight loss and fat in general. Have you ever heard you have all the fat cells you’ll ever have — that’s false by the way. Then there is fad diets like gluten free — proven to do nothing unless you actually have a diagnosed gluten allergy — or adkins, but now researchers believe they’re on track to solve the mystery of weight gain – and it has nothing to do with indulging in holiday eggnog.... Read more »

Woeller CF, O'loughlin CW, Pollock SJ, Thatcher TH, Feldon SE, & Phipps RP. (2014) Thy1 (CD90) controls adipogenesis by regulating activity of the Src family kinase, Fyn. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 25416548  

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:00 AM
  • 346 views

Without it no music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A short entry to announce a theme issue on Musicality in Philosophical Transactions B, to be out in February 2015... the year when the worlds first journal dedicated to science will celebrate its 350th anniversary.... Read more »

Honing H, ten Cate C, Peretz I, & Trehub SE. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. info:/10.1098/rstb.2014.0088

  • December 10, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 222 views

Worms’ “mental GPS” could help improve mental health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine this, you’ve misplaced your cell phone. You start by scanning where you remember leaving it: on your bureau. You check and double-check the bureau before expanding your search around and below the bureau. Eventually, you switch from this local area to a more global one, widening your search to the rest of your room and beyond.... Read more »

Adam J Calhoun, Sreekanth H Chalasani, Tatyana O Sharpee. (2014) Maximally informative foraging by Caenorhabditis elegans. eLife. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04220#sthash.lVQ5aANV.dpuf

  • December 10, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 352 views

Depressed? Laughing gas might help

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don’t respond to standard therapies. In other words, it might actually live up to it’s name and as they say laughter is the best medicine. The pilot study is believed to be the first research in which patients with depression were given laughing gas.... Read more »

Nagele P, Duma A, Kopec M, Gebara MA, Parsoei A, Walker M, Janski A, Pahagopoulos VN, Cristancho P, Miller JP, Zorumski CF, Conway C . (2014) Nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant major depression: a proof-of-concept trial. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.11.016  

  • December 8, 2014
  • 06:50 PM
  • 366 views

Don't miss out! Dogs Science from November

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Catch up! Participate! Plan your conferences for 2015! Check out all the latest in canine science from November here, thanks to the magic of Storify (if you don't see a beautiful array of handy snippets below, please click this link to view)[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-30 November 2014]" on Storify]Further reading: Cobb M., Paul McGreevy, Alan Lill & Pauleen Bennett (2014). The advent of canine performance science: Offering a sustainable future for working dogs, Behaviour........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:13 PM
  • 272 views

Scientists find a hormone that makes you fatter

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Our waistlines are expanding, it’s no secret that around the world despite rampant hunger people are also getting fatter. While there are many things that are contributing to this — our increased food security, the cost of food, fast food, the increasing sugar supplied in food, etc — there are other theories as to why we are getting so heavy. Scientists have pointed towards bacteria, gut microbiota, and many other causes for our increased weight, now add to that list a common hormone that ........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:14 AM
  • 302 views

Why evaluating scientists by grant income is stupid

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

Several UK universities explicitly use research funding as a criterion for hiring and firing scientists. I argue this is stupid because it damages (a) staff wellbeing, (b) the institution's reputation and (c) the progress of science. ... Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 01:16 PM
  • 266 views

Study suggests lefties actually earn less

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Much has been thrown at left-handed people—they are quick to anger, quickly scared and, with the exception of heads of state, are more or less life’s losers. There was even a time where left handedness was “beaten out” of children in school. Conversely, there have been much bestowed upon left-handed people—they are creative and score highly on certain tests. Obviously, scientists need to rely on more than popular notions to make connections, if any, between left-handed people and succe........ Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 03:23 AM
  • 430 views

Building the Best Computer

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

The American spy/intelligence agency, IARPA, is working to address the shortcomings of existing supercomputers through its program, C3. [Infographic]... Read more »

Holmes, D., Ripple, A., & Manheimer, M. (2013) Energy-Efficient Superconducting Computing—Power Budgets and Requirements. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23(3), 1701610-1701610. DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2013.2244634  

  • December 6, 2014
  • 02:19 PM
  • 246 views

Mapping the spinal circuitry to fight phantom pain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Pain typically has a clear cause–but not always. When a person touches something hot or bumps into a sharp object, it’s no surprise that it hurts. But for people with certain chronic pain disorders, including fibromyalgia and phantom limb pain, even a gentle caress can result in agony and for some — like my sister — the pain can be almost never ending.... Read more »

Duan B, Cheng L, Bourane S, Britz O, Padilla C, Garcia-Campmany L, Krashes M, Knowlton W, Velasquez T, Ren X.... (2014) Identification of Spinal Circuits Transmitting and Gating Mechanical Pain. Cell, 159(6), 1417-1432. PMID: 25467445  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 03:58 PM
  • 428 views

Move over solar pannels, introducing spray-on solar cells

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar panels, they are big, heavy, cannot flex, and are still very inefficient. While efficiency isn’t the big issue, flexibility has relegated solar panels to rooftops and solar farms. Well that is until now, researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.... Read more »

Kramer, I., Moreno-Bautista, G., Minor, J., Kopilovic, D., & Sargent, E. (2014) Colloidal quantum dot solar cells on curved and flexible substrates. Applied Physics Letters, 105(16), 163902. DOI: 10.1063/1.4898635  

Carey GH, Kramer IJ, Kanjanaboos P, Moreno-Bautista G, Voznyy O, Rollny L, Tang JA, Hoogland S, & Sargent EH. (2014) Electronically active impurities in colloidal quantum dot solids. ACS nano, 8(11), 11763-9. PMID: 25376698  

Kramer, I., Minor, J., Moreno-Bautista, G., Rollny, L., Kanjanaboos, P., Kopilovic, D., Thon, S., Carey, G., Chou, K., Zhitomirsky, D.... (2014) Efficient Spray-Coated Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201403281  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 11:56 AM
  • 296 views

“Evaluating Information Literacy Educators’ Practices”: Journal Club Report by Emily Delahaye

by Emily Delahaye in DIS Student Blog

Summary of the article by Susie Andretta about a programme to educate Information Literacy educators, and of the discussion of the article at the UCL Department of Information Studies MA Library and Information Studies Journal Club meeting.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:30 PM
  • 398 views

Finding the real cost of climate change

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How much does global warming really cost the world? Determining the Social Cost of Carbon helps put a actual dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies. Remember, even on a global scale, the bottom line will always be profit. But now a group of economists and lawyers urge several improvements to the government's Social Cost of Carbon figure that would impose a regular, tr........ Read more »

Pizer, W., Adler, M., Aldy, J., Anthoff, D., Cropper, M., Gillingham, K., Greenstone, M., Murray, B., Newell, R., Richels, R.... (2014) Using and improving the social cost of carbon. Science, 346(6214), 1189-1190. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259774  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 339 views

Hoe komt het dat een liedje in je hoofd blijft hangen? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

De hele dag dat ene hitje in je hoofd: een oorwurm! Muziekproducenten kunnen het zich niet beter wensen. Wat maakt dat liedje nou zo makkelijk te onthouden? En hoe kan het dat je dat ene nummer zo snel herkent? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt uit wat de ingrediënten zijn voor het maken van een ware muziekhit en waardoor luisteraars zo ‘Hooked on Music’ zijn…... Read more »

Gjerdingen, R., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

Salimpoor, V., van den Bosch, I., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2013) Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. Science, 340(6129), 216-219. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231059  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 04:35 PM
  • 336 views

New peptide might treat spinal cord injury

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In nature there are plenty of animals that can regenerate nerves, even some mammals have the ability to regenerate them, but unfortunately we do not. However, there is some great news on the horizon, scientists have developed a new chemical compound that shows extraordinary promise in restoring function lost to spinal cord injury. The compound, which the researchers dubbed intracellular sigma peptide (ISP), allowed paralyzed muscles to activate in more than 80 percent of the animals tested.... Read more »

Lang, B., Cregg, J., DePaul, M., Tran, A., Xu, K., Dyck, S., Madalena, K., Brown, B., Weng, Y., Li, S.... (2014) Modulation of the proteoglycan receptor PTPσ promotes recovery after spinal cord injury. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13974  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 04:31 PM
  • 312 views

Synthetic biology breakthrough: The world’s first artificial enzymes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Like mad scientists working away in some secret location we have created life… well sort of. It may sound like something out of a Sci fi movie, but scientists have created the world’s first enzymes made from artificial genetic material. Their synthetic enzymes (which are made from molecules that do not occur anywhere in nature) are capable of triggering chemical reactions in the lab and are the building blocks for life.... Read more »

Taylor, A., Pinheiro, V., Smola, M., Morgunov, A., Peak-Chew, S., Cozens, C., Weeks, K., Herdewijn, P., & Holliger, P. (2014) Catalysts from synthetic genetic polymers. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13982  

Pinheiro, V., Taylor, A., Cozens, C., Abramov, M., Renders, M., Zhang, S., Chaput, J., Wengel, J., Peak-Chew, S., McLaughlin, S.... (2012) Synthetic Genetic Polymers Capable of Heredity and Evolution. Science, 336(6079), 341-344. DOI: 10.1126/science.1217622  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:51 PM
  • 478 views

Our Increased carbon dioxide output causes global warming and now we have proof

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Global warming, it’s a bigger deal than some people seem to realize. For years science has pointed to the increased carbon dioxide output as the main reason for man-made global warming. However, there has been no evidence to directly link CO2 output to global warming, well until now. Research has identified, for the first time, how global warming is related to the amount of carbon emitted.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 243 views

Word je slimmer van luisteren naar Mozart? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Het Mozarteffect. Studenten halen gegarandeerd hun tentamens, koeien zullen meer melk produceren en zelfs tomaten gaan beter smaken wanneer ze ‘luisteren’ naar klassieke muziek. Is dat zo? Waar heeft dit mee te maken? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt je uit wat het effect is van klassieke muziek.... Read more »

Rauscher, F., Shaw, G., & Ky, C. (1993) Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365(6447), 611-611. DOI: 10.1038/365611a0  

Thompson, W., Schellenberg, E., & Husain, G. (2001) Arousal, Mood, and The Mozart Effect. Psychological Science, 12(3), 248-251. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.00345  

Glenn Schellenberg, E. (2004) Music Lessons Enhance IQ. Psychological Science, 15(8), 511-514. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00711.x  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 02:27 AM
  • 251 views

What Effect Does Your Shampoo Really Have on Your Hair?

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Social Science

New analytical techniques can show how different hair care products affect the hair, with some leaving isolated deposits behind and others leaving layers of material that wet the hair surface.

Researchers used atomic force microscopy in a variety of imaging modes to garner more detailed information and at smaller scales than has been presented before for hair product analyses. The methods can be used to study the varying effects of different hair care products.... Read more »

  • November 30, 2014
  • 01:31 PM
  • 354 views

Even more bad global warming news

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While everyone (but seemingly the media) is on basically the same page with the fact that global warming is a human caused problem — and one we need to fix the effects of this change are still coming to light. Human-induced changes to Earth’s carbon cycle – for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification – have been observed for decades. However, a new study showed human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impa........ Read more »

Kim IN, Lee K, Gruber N, Karl DM, Bullister JL, Yang S, & Kim TW. (2014) Chemical oceanography. Increasing anthropogenic nitrogen in the North Pacific Ocean. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6213), 1102-6. PMID: 25430767  

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