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  • September 22, 2014
  • 02:17 PM
  • 36 views

Autism and the Low Iron Connection

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The topic of autism is a charged one. Maybe it’s because it isn’t a simple diagnosis; there are many roads to autism. Most of them are probably genetic, some of them are likely environmental, and none of them are related to vaccination (sorry to burst your bubble anti vax people, it’s called science). Some new research shows another possible (environmental) cause. The new study shows that mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before........ Read more »

Rebecca J. Schmidt et al. (2014) Maternal intake of supplemental iron and risk for autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Epidemiology. info:/

  • September 21, 2014
  • 02:33 PM
  • 46 views

Move over Carbon nanotubes introducing Diamond nanothreads

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Carbon nanotubes, the wave of the future. Our hopes and dreams for the future have been firmly placed in using the unique material for everything from electronics to engineering. Unfortunately the production of carbon nanotubes has been hampered by setbacks, which as it turns out might not be a bad thing. This is because for the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin “diamond nanothreads” that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greate........ Read more »

Fitzgibbons, T., Guthrie, M., Xu, E., Crespi, V., Davidowski, S., Cody, G., Alem, N., & Badding, J. (2014) Benzene-derived carbon nanothreads. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat4088  

  • September 20, 2014
  • 01:52 PM
  • 51 views

Solving the metal problem: new organic solar cell material allows wide use of metal cathodes, improves efficiency

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New research in Science shows the use of a new organic buffer layer that allows a wide range of metal electrodes to be used in conjunction with solution-based processing.... Read more »

  • September 17, 2014
  • 01:24 PM
  • 72 views

Biofilms: Using Bacteria for new Designer Nanomaterials

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they are even the same stuff that causes pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team of researchers sees biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could clean up polluted rivers, manufacture pharmaceutical products, fabricate new textiles, and more.... Read more »

Peter Q. Nguyen,, Zsofia Botyanszki,, Pei Kun R. Tay,, & Neel S. Joshi. (2014) Programmable biofilm-based materials from engineered curli nanofibres. Nature Communications. info:/10.1038/ncomms5945

  • September 16, 2014
  • 07:11 PM
  • 71 views

Breaking battery convention: new study indicates fast charging not necessarily detrimental to cycle lifetimes

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New battery research examining the structure of LiFePO4 electrodes during charging indicate that fast charging rates are possible due to a relationship between rate and active intercalation sites.... Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 12:06 PM
  • 68 views

Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Can’t eat poison without dying? Maybe your gut microbes are to blame. Rodents in the Mojave Desert have evolved to eat toxic creosote bushes with the help of specialized gut bacteria. Although scientists had long suspected that bacteria might be key to the rats’ power, they proved it by feeding the rodents antibiotics and ground-up […]The post Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Kohl KD, Weiss RB, Cox J, Dale C, & Denise Dearing M. (2014) Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins. Ecology letters, 17(10), 1238-46. PMID: 25040855  

  • September 13, 2014
  • 10:14 AM
  • 100 views

Solving the puzzle of Greenland melting 20,000 years ago

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New computer modeling and experimental ice core data shed light on the mystery of Greenland melting 20,000 years ago. This information will be helpful in refining current climate models.... Read more »

Buizert C, Gkinis V, Severinghaus JP, He F, Lecavalier BS, Kindler P, Leuenberger M, Carlson AE, Vinther B, Masson-Delmotte V.... (2014) Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6201), 1177-80. PMID: 25190795  

  • September 9, 2014
  • 09:37 AM
  • 71 views

Elderly Seabirds Dive Just as Well as Young Ones

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If your grandma got up from the sofa, did a couple toe-touches, and then ran a mile at her college track pace, she might be approaching the athletic skill of a thick-billed murre. These seabirds make incredibly deep, long dives to catch prey. As they age, their bodies slow and change like ours. But the […]The post Elderly Seabirds Dive Just as Well as Young Ones appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 126 views

Artificial Cells: They’re alive!!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Frankenstein’s monster was (in the story) a scientific marvel that could not be matched. Growing up with the story, the idea of creating life where there was none was a feat that I had once thought was going to always be science fiction. Maybe this is why I was so surprised when I found out that scientists, using only a few ingredients, have successfully implemented a minimalistic model of the cell that can change its shape and move on its own.... Read more »

Keber, F., Loiseau, E., Sanchez, T., DeCamp, S., Giomi, L., Bowick, M., Marchetti, M., Dogic, Z., & Bausch, A. (2014) Topology and dynamics of active nematic vesicles. Science, 345(6201), 1135-1139. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254784  

  • September 5, 2014
  • 10:58 AM
  • 108 views

Corals Engineer Their Own Currents

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

There are few more monastic lives in the animal kingdom than a coral’s. In adulthood it gives up swimming to settle on the ocean floor, surround its spineless body with clones, and become a rock. Mouth facing the ocean, it waits passively for whatever drifts by—or maybe not so passively. Taking a closer look at […]The post Corals Engineer Their Own Currents appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Orr H. Shapiro, Vicente I. Fernandez, Melissa Garren, Jeffrey S. Guasto, François P. Debaillon-Vesque, Esti Kramarsky-Winter, Assaf Vardi, & Roman Stocker. (2014) Vortical ciliary flows actively enhance mass transport in reef corals. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1323094111

  • September 4, 2014
  • 05:46 PM
  • 112 views

Hole no more: new perovskite solar cell design removes hole conducting layer to improve stability and reduce costs

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New research in Science shows a clever way to use a TiO2-ZrO2 junction to replace the expensive hole conducting layer in perovskite solar cells and promote charge separation.... Read more »

Mei, A., Li, X., Liu, L., Ku, Z., Liu, T., Rong, Y., Xu, M., Hu, M., Chen, J., Yang, Y.... (2014) A hole-conductor-free, fully printable mesoscopic perovskite solar cell with high stability. Science, 345(6194), 295-298. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254763  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 03:12 PM
  • 105 views

The hope behind climate change: adaptation strategies for coastal regions

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Hopeful news on Labor Day! A commentary discusses how IPCC reports have become more optimistic and describes adaptation pathways being used by coastal regions to prepare for climate change.... Read more »

Brown, S., Nicholls, R., Hanson, S., Brundrit, G., Dearing, J., Dickson, M., Gallop, S., Gao, S., Haigh, I., Hinkel, J.... (2014) Shifting perspectives on coastal impacts and adaptation. Nature Climate Change, 4(9), 752-755. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2344  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 02:38 PM
  • 111 views

New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in futility. These drug properties are directly conferred by the 3D structure of the drug molecule. So ideally, the drug should have a shape that is perfectly complementary to a disease-causing target, so that it binds it with high specificity.With that, scientists have developed a synthetic amino acid that c........ Read more »

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C. (2014) Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides. Nature Chemistry. info:/10.1038/nchem.2043

  • August 29, 2014
  • 09:25 AM
  • 133 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 27, 2014
  • 05:39 PM
  • 147 views

Climate change research roundup: hiding heat in the Atlantic and the Arctic carbon cycle

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A quick roundup of new climate change research in Science: the Atlantic Ocean may be hiding the missing heat to explain the global warming hiatus, and photochemical processes in the Arctic are releasing more CO2 than previously thought.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 161 views

Brian Hooker's Hooked Hoax: Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

10 years after the initial study by DeStefano et al. (2004) was conducted, famous anti-vaccine alarmist Brian Hooker, along with Andrew Wakefield, are talking about a "whistleblower" in the CDC claiming that the original data was fraudulent, and was masking a 336% increased risk in ASD in African American boys receiving the MMR vaccine "on time." Did Hooker prove anything in his new study, however? Only that he doesn't understand epidemiology or statistics.... Read more »

  • August 24, 2014
  • 03:06 PM
  • 162 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 23, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 131 views

An end to Finger Pricking for Diabetics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

About 10% of the US is diabetic, that doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize how many people there are in the US (roughly 311 million and counting). Think about it like this, every 7 seconds (roughly) a child is born. With that statistic every minute and 10 seconds leads to another person with diabetes. By the time you finish reading this, about two people in the US will be diagnosed with diabetes.[…]... Read more »

Liakat S, Bors KA, Xu L, Woods CM, Doyle J, & Gmachl CF. (2014) Noninvasive in vivo glucose sensing on human subjects using mid-infrared light. Biomedical optics express, 5(7), 2397-404. PMID: 25071973  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 09:42 AM
  • 127 views

These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, the saying goes, and stalagmites might grow high enough to reach it. But the simple mnemonic doesn’t come close to covering the variety of weird, rocky shapes growing all over a cave. There are even, it turns out, rocks made from bacteria. They’re not putting the “tight” in “stalactite” so […]The post These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Sallstedt, T., Ivarsson, M., Lundberg, J., Sjöberg, R., & Vidal Romaní, J. (2014) Speleothem and biofilm formation in a granite/dolerite cave, Northern Sweden. International Journal of Speleology, 43(3), 305-313. DOI: 10.5038/1827-806X.43.3.7  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 07:03 PM
  • 133 views

Anthropogenic climate change and glacial loss explained by a single number: 25!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New analyses using climate circulation models and glacial dynamics indicates that anthropogenic forcing has caused 25% of glacial loss over the past 150 years and 69% over the past two decades.... Read more »

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