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  • August 29, 2014
  • 03:10 PM
  • 33 views

The Ever Mutating Ebola Virus

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ebola has a nasty reputation for the way it damages the body. It's rightfully earned when you look at the death rate. But when you look at the actual details of an Ebola infection, a surprising fact surfaces: The virus isn't what ends up killing you, it's your own immune system. Sure they are trying different ways to outsmart the virus, but it's mutating... quickly. In fact, scientists have rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes. The hope it to better understand the enem........ Read more »

Gire, S., Goba, A., Andersen, K., Sealfon, R., Park, D., Kanneh, L., Jalloh, S., Momoh, M., Fullah, M., Dudas, G.... (2014) Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259657  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 09:25 AM
  • 41 views

The Friday Five for 8/29/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

5 of the hottest science news stories this week include a lab-grown thymus, big Alzheimer’s news, and how to make the perfect pizza.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 120 views

The Things Living on your Toothbrush…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Did you remember to brush? I hope you did, but you may be throwing away your toothbrush soon. Get ready for your daily amount of gross, because have I got a scientific discovery that will make you rethink your dental hygiene. Researchers have found that “solid-head” power toothbrushes have up to 3,000 times less bacteria when compared to “hollow-head” toothbrushes.[…]... Read more »

Morris DW, Goldschmidt M, Keene H, & Cron SG. (2014) Microbial contamination of power toothbrushes: a comparison of solid-head versus hollow-head designs. Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association, 88(4), 237-42. PMID: 25134956  

  • August 27, 2014
  • 03:23 PM
  • 77 views

The Learning Brain Unravelled

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As an engineer you would think math would come easy to me, it didn’t. Funny thing though, science in general and biology in particular came very easy to me. The big question is why? Why would math, something I need to know how to do for my work and my degree, be so hard to learn? Thankfully science has stepped in to answer the question, at least partially, about why somethings can come so easy to a person and other things (like me and math) take so much longer to pick up.[…]... Read more »

Patrick T. Sadtler,, Kristin M. Quick,, Matthew D. Golub,, Steven M. Chase,, Stephen I. Ryu,, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara,, Byron M. Yu,, & Aaron P. Batista. (2014) Neural constraints on learning. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature13665

  • August 27, 2014
  • 09:46 AM
  • 56 views

Fluid-injection could act as 'trigger' for large earthquakes

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study investigates whether fluid-injection techniques (such as fracking, solution mining and enhanced geothermal)can generate enough stress to set off large quakes prematurely... Read more »

Mulargia, F., & Bizzarri, A. (2014) Anthropogenic Triggering of Large Earthquakes. Scientific Reports, 6100. DOI: 10.1038/srep06100  

  • August 26, 2014
  • 01:27 PM
  • 84 views

The Holographic Universe [we might Live in!]

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Are you feeling a little… flat? Well that might be because you are only in 2 dimensions. I know what you’re thinking, insane! Well first check the name of the business and second, check out the science. In fact, it may seem like a joke, but the math suggests that it could very well be true and with it could come a deeper understanding of the universe. Testing this hypothesis (which was first made in the late 90’s) has been harder to do than you might think, but that has now changed. We are........ Read more »

  • August 24, 2014
  • 03:06 PM
  • 85 views

Correcting the Critics of Nicholas Wade & MAOA

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Geneticists are not the leading experts on behavioral genetics, and they and other critics have made numerous errors and misjudgments about Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance, as well as MAOA or warrior gene research.... Read more »

Bevilacqua L, Doly S, Kaprio J, Yuan Q, Tikkanen R, Paunio T, Zhou Z, Wedenoja J, Maroteaux L, Diaz S.... (2010) A population-specific HTR2B stop codon predisposes to severe impulsivity. Nature, 468(7327), 1061-6. PMID: 21179162  

Cases O, Seif I, Grimsby J, Gaspar P, Chen K, Pournin S, Müller U, Aguet M, Babinet C, & Shih JC. (1995) Aggressive behavior and altered amounts of brain serotonin and norepinephrine in mice lacking MAOA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 268(5218), 1763-6. PMID: 7792602  

Tuinier S, Verhoeven WMA, Scherders MJWT, Fekkes D, & Pepplinkhuizen L. (1995) Neuropsychiatric and biological characteristics of X-linked MAO-A deficiency syndrome. A single case intervention study. New Trends in Experimental and Clinical Psychiatry, 99-107. info:/

Zhu B, Chen C, Moyzis R, Dong Q, Chen C, He Q, Li J, Lei X, & Lin C. (2012) Association between the HTR2B gene and the personality trait of fun seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(8), 1029-1033. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.026  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 05:13 AM
  • 97 views

Is Intelligence Actually Beneficial To Survival?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Research shows that more intelligent animals might not always be best suited for survival. Some researchers speculate that intelligence may be a trade-off. Fast learning may correlate with other traits, such as being less aggressive, which could weaken chances for survival. Slower learning may indicate that other choices are being made, and this variety could prove advantageous later.... Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 06:15 PM
  • 97 views

Does the motion of the solar system affect our climate?

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

The solar system is believed to vertically oscillate relative to the galactic disc. A new study analyses proxy-climate data to establish a link between the galactic cycle and climate.... Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 02:21 AM
  • 86 views

Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to ac........ Read more »

Fischhoff B., & Scheufele D. (2013) The science of science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14033-14039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 06:06 AM
  • 80 views

How Stress Promotes Atherosclerosis

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

There is evidence that chronic stress increases the risk of atherosclerosis, but no mechanism linking the two phenomena has been demonstrated so far. Since stressful emotional states can affect the function of the immune system, Heidt and colleagues of the Massachusetts General Hospital hypothesized that stress increases the activity of inflammatory cells in the plaques facilitating their rupture, as you can read in their recently published article.... Read more »

Heidt T, Sager HB, Courties G, Dutta P, Iwamoto Y, Zaltsman A, von Zur Muhlen C, Bode C, Fricchione GL, Denninger J.... (2014) Chronic variable stress activates hematopoietic stem cells. Nature medicine, 20(7), 754-8. PMID: 24952646  

  • August 19, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 86 views

Cats Won’t Answer Your Call Or Ring You Back

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

In a recent article, scientists proof that cats do not evidently set aside special attentions to their owners when called, even though they were able to recognize a familiar voice. Twenty domestic cats simply moved their head or their ears when called by whomever, owners or strangers, but almost no cat replied, “saying something”. They tried with everything: official names, nicknames, etc. but cats never said a word. In addition, hearing the owners’ voice did not result in a ma........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 01:21 PM
  • 93 views

We can Build it Better: The First Artificial Cell Network

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

How does the old saying go? Imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery? Well that is what we’ve been trying to do for a very long time, but mimicking the intricate networks and dynamic interactions that are inherent to living cells is difficult to achieve outside the cell. Unfortunately despite all our intelligence nature has had the upper hand on us for a long time. That has not changed… until now that is.[…]... Read more »

Karzbrun E, Tayar AM, Noireaux V, & Bar-Ziv RH. (2014) Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as artificial cells. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6198), 829-32. PMID: 25124443  

  • August 17, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 84 views

DNA nets could be 'ancient defence weapon'

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study tests whether invertebrates produce similar DNA-based traps to neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)to prove theory that they are an ancient immune technique... Read more »

  • August 14, 2014
  • 12:10 PM
  • 106 views

HIV Vaccine One Step Closer to Reality

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The war on HIV, that tricky little guy has avoided every thing we could throw at it in a broad sense. Sure a few people here and there get lucky, but we have yet to actually make any sort of we're going to kick your ass headway [don't worry it's the technical term for it]. That is hopefully going to change with a new scientific discovery that has enormous implications for HIV vaccine development. Researchers have uncovered novel properties of special HIV antibodies that promise to........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2014
  • 08:09 AM
  • 83 views

Stuck In The Middle: Migration Routes Of Hybrid Birds

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

Birds migrate long distances, via set routes and this behavior is partially genetic. But what’s the migration behavior then of hybrids with parents that employ two different travel routes? A new study provides fascinating answers.... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 05:56 AM
  • 89 views

Taste Isn’t Just For The Tongue

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Taste is one of our five basic senses, and every child is taught that you use the tongue to taste things. But science is proving that many other tissues can taste what you ingest.... Read more »

Mosinger B, Redding KM, Parker MR, Yevshayeva V, Yee KK, Dyomina K, Li Y, & Margolskee RF. (2013) Genetic loss or pharmacological blockade of testes-expressed taste genes causes male sterility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(30), 12319-24. PMID: 23818598  

  • August 10, 2014
  • 05:18 AM
  • 125 views

Canine Science Forum 2014 - we come full circle!

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Aw - it's Us @ CSF2014! Thanks Tamás Faragó :)Dear Julie,while you've been off enjoying the fjords of Norway and I've been recovering from six legs of long haul flying with a three year old as hand luggage, I thought I'd put up a quick post to recap the wonderful week in Lincoln, UK that was the (Feline and) Canine Science Forum 2014.Such a fun, stimulating, inspiring week comprising the Feline Science day (Monday), public lecture by James Serpell (rhymes with purple) on Monday ........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2014
  • 01:45 PM
  • 376 views

Marijuana and the Developing Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You can’t get away from it, the big marijuana debate here in the US. Is it good? Is it bad? What are other countries doing? There are also a lot of claims made about marijuana, most of which aren’t true, namely the big medical claims. Then there is the other side of that fence, what about some of the health issues that are claimed, where does science sit on that?[…]... Read more »

Giedd JN, Blumenthal J, Jeffries NO, Rajapakse JC, Vaituzis AC, Liu H, Berry YC, Tobin M, Nelson J, & Castellanos FX. (1999) Development of the human corpus callosum during childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology , 23(4), 571-88. PMID: 10390717  

Giedd, J. N. (2004) Structural magnetic resonance imaging of the adolescent brain. Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. info:/

Choo EK, Benz M, Zaller N, Warren O, Rising KL, & McConnell KJ. (2014) The impact of state medical marijuana legislation on adolescent marijuana use. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 55(2), 160-6. PMID: 24742758  

Joffe A, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Abuse, & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence. (2004) Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. Pediatrics, 113(6), 1825-6. PMID: 15173518  

  • August 7, 2014
  • 05:50 AM
  • 106 views

Nature’s Magnifying Glass: Gravitational Lensing

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Gravitational lensing is a clean probe of the Universe and has much to tell us about its two most mysterious components – dark matter and dark energy. This article explains what it is, what is can discover and what Sherlock Holmes has to do with it.... Read more »

Kenneth C. Wong, Kim-Vy H. Tran, Sherry H. Suyu, Ivelina G. Momcheva, Gabriel B. Brammer, Mark Brodwin, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Aleksi Halkola, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Anton M. Koekemoer.... (2014) Discovery of a Strong Lensing Galaxy Embedded in a Cluster at z . The Astrophysical Journal Letters vol. 789 . arXiv: 1405.3661v2

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