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  • February 23, 2016
  • 07:10 AM

Love? All You Need is... Oxytocin

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is involved in emphatetic behaviours in tiny rodents.... Read more »

Burkett, J., Andari, E., Johnson, Z., Curry, D., de Waal, F., & Young, L. (2016) Oxytocin-dependent consolation behavior in rodents. Science, 351(6271), 375-378. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4785  

  • February 22, 2016
  • 05:14 PM

Scientists discover the way to a new generation of antibiotics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a common occurrence. Once isolated, more and more we are turning away from the traditional antibiotics to our so called "last line of defense" antibiotics to fight infections. Sadly in a growing number of cases these antibiotics are having less of an effect. However, new research reveals the mechanism by which drug-resistant bacterial cells maintain a defensive barrier.

... Read more »

Gu, Y., Li, H., Dong, H., Zeng, Y., Zhang, Z., Paterson, N., Stansfeld, P., Wang, Z., Zhang, Y., Wang, W.... (2016) Structural basis of outer membrane protein insertion by the BAM complex. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17199  

  • February 21, 2016
  • 05:25 PM

Mutual mistrust may have added a few X-files to the UFO era

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mulder and Scully may have accomplished something that hasn't happened for society -- trust between two opposing viewpoints. According to a new study, uncloaking the flying saucer movement in the United States could offer historians a snapshot of Cold War attitudes at work in society, as well as insights into how science communication may be tied to current denialism and conspiracy theory movements.... Read more »

  • February 21, 2016
  • 01:34 PM

Does musicality have a biological foundation?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A few days ago a study was published by the team of Irma Järvelä (University of Helsinki) on the identification of genetic variants underlying musical ability. They based their new study (Liu et al., 2016) on an existing database of ca. 150 unrelated Finnish subjects that were tested for their musical ability using a collection of pitch and pattern perception tests. In addition, for all participants genomic DNA was available (based on a blood sample). The participants were divided into........ Read more »

Liu, X., Kanduri, C., Oikkonen, J., Karma, K., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Teo, Y., & Järvelä, I. (2016) Detecting signatures of positive selection associated with musical aptitude in the human genome. Scientific Reports, 21198. DOI: 10.1038/srep21198  

Gingras, B., Honing, H., Peretz, I., Trainor, L., & Fisher, S. (2015) Defining the biological bases of individual differences in musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140092-20140092. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0092  

  • February 20, 2016
  • 07:00 AM

The Myth of "Mind-Altering Parasite" Toxoplasma Gondii?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Toxoplasma gondii is a tiny organism that lives inside cells. It may well live inside your cells - the parasite up to 50% of the world's population, along with cats and many other animal species.

This is worrying, because many researchers believe that T. gondii infection, or toxoplasmosis, can alter human behavior. Among other organs, the parasite infects the brain, and it has been blamed for making people more impulsive, and more prone to mental illness, including schizophrenia. The ... Read more »

  • February 19, 2016
  • 05:07 PM

Does rape alter the female brain?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sexual assault, personally, I hate the phrase. It sounds much more tame than rape and I think we should call it like it is, rape. Sure that might make a person's skin crawl just slightly -- and that is frankly the point. Rape is ugly, it's evil, it leaves an indelible mark on a person and unfortunately a new study shows that it may be worse. Researchers have discovered that prepubescent female rodents paired with sexually experienced males had elevated levels of stress hormones, could not learn ........ Read more »

  • February 19, 2016
  • 04:42 PM

Can atheism increase stock market volatility?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s a ridiculous idea, so daft it’s probably not even worth spending time thinking about. But stick with me on this because the analysis is a fascinating one. I’m talking about a recent study by Benjamin Blau, a finance expert at Utah State University. He picked up on a [Read More...]... Read more »

  • February 18, 2016
  • 05:20 PM

A way to track and stop human and agricultural viruses

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Viruses are molecular thieves that take from their hosts under the cloak of darkness. But now a Virginia Tech scientist has found a way to not only track viral hijackers, but also potentially stop them from replicating. The discovery has broad ranging applications in stopping viral outbreaks such as Hepatitis C in humans and a number of viruses in plants and animals because it applies to many viruses in the largest category of viral classes -- positive-strand RNA viruses.

... Read more »

Zhang, J., Zhang, Z., Chukkapalli, V., Nchoutmboube, J., Li, J., Randall, G., Belov, G., & Wang, X. (2016) Positive-strand RNA viruses stimulate host phosphatidylcholine synthesis at viral replication sites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201519730. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1519730113  

  • February 18, 2016
  • 11:00 AM

Η Ιερά Εξέταση

by Perikis Livas in Chilon

Η Ιερά Εξέταση ήταν Εκκλησιαστικός θεσμός δικαστικού χαρακτήρα της Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησί&al........ Read more »

Chilon-Pitheys. (2016) Η Ιερά Εξέταση. Chilon . info:/

  • February 18, 2016
  • 04:11 AM

Do not ever blame those lazy beings…

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Lazy workers, in insect colonies, are very important for long-term sustainability of those colonies.

Published in:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

Everyone knows that insects live in colonies; they work in societies, and they follow the rules of a good social order. They are very efficient in doing their work, i.e. collection of food. However, few people know that ant colonies have many inactive workers. Sometimes, the number of those inactive workers results in red........ Read more »

Hasegawa, E., Ishii, Y., Tada, K., Kobayashi, K., & Yoshimura, J. (2016) Lazy workers are necessary for long-term sustainability in insect societies. Scientific Reports, 20846. DOI: 10.1038/srep20846  

  • February 17, 2016
  • 03:44 PM

The potential pathway between insomnia and depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Have you ever had to deal with bouts of insomnia make you feel depressed? Well the good news is you’re not alone, in fact the two may be linked. A new study of firefighters suggests that insomnia and nightmares may increase the risk of depression by impairing the ability to access and leverage emotion regulation strategies effectively.

... Read more »

  • February 16, 2016
  • 04:30 PM

Researchers highlight brain region as ‘ground zero’ of Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A critical but vulnerable region in the brain appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease and may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously appreciated, according to a new review of the scientific literature.

... Read more »

  • February 15, 2016
  • 04:12 PM

Scientists prove feasibility of ‘printing’ replacement tissue

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using a sophisticated, custom-designed 3D printer, regenerative medicine scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proved that it is feasible to print living tissue structures to replace injured or diseased tissue in patients. Scientists said they printed ear, bone and muscle structures. When implanted in animals, the structures matured into functional tissue and developed a system of blood vessels.

... Read more »

  • February 14, 2016
  • 05:13 PM

‘Jaws’ may help humans grow new teeth, shark study suggests

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new insight into how sharks regenerate their teeth, which may pave the way for the development of therapies to help humans with tooth loss, has been discovered by scientists. The study has identified a network of genes that enables sharks to develop and regenerate their teeth throughout their lifetime. The genes also allow sharks to replace rows of their teeth using a conveyer belt-like system.

... Read more »

  • February 13, 2016
  • 04:37 PM

All the lonely people: Pinpointing loneliness in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than alone. Deprived of human contact, most people become lonely and emotionally distressed.

... Read more »

Matthews GA, Nieh EH, Vander Weele CM, Halbert SA, Pradhan RV, Yosafat AS, Glober GF, Izadmehr EM, Thomas RE, Lacy GD.... (2016) Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation. Cell, 164(4), 617-631. PMID: 26871628  

  • February 10, 2016
  • 04:07 PM

Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The age at which an adolescent begins using marijuana may affect typical brain development, according to researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. In a paper recently published, scientists describe how marijuana use, and the age at which use is initiated, may adversely alter brain structures that underlie higher order thinking.

... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 06:40 PM

Alles in Ordnung? Reflections on German order

by Rahel Cramer in Language on the Move

Everyone who has learned a second language will have noticed that certain words and expressions cannot be translated easily from...... Read more »

  • February 6, 2016
  • 04:49 PM

Brain plasticity assorted into functional networks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Plasticity of the brain, what does that even mean? Well the good news is that it isn’t just a marketing ploy, the brain needs to be “plastic” because we need to be able to adapt. Frankly speaking, the brain still has a lot to learn about itself. Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have made a key finding of the striking differences in how the brain’s cells can change through experience.

... Read more »

  • February 5, 2016
  • 05:24 PM

Would You Stick Pins In A Voodoo Doll of Your Child?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Well? Would you...?

This was the question faced by the participants in a rather extraordinary series of studies described in a new paper from Illinois psychologists Randy J. McCarthy and colleagues. In total, 1081 parents with children aged under 18 were presented with an outline of a person, and asked to imagine that it was their own child. They were told to think of a time when their child made them angry. Finally, they were asked how many pins they would like to stick into the "doll" in or... Read more »

McCarthy RJ, Crouch JL, Basham AR, Milner JS, & Skowronski JJ. (2016) Validating the Voodoo Doll Task as a Proxy for Aggressive Parenting Behavior. Psychology of violence, 6(1), 135-144. PMID: 26839734  

  • February 5, 2016
  • 01:34 PM

Abnormalities in later cognitive stages of beat processing?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Beat deafness, a recently documented form of congenital amusia, provides a unique window into functional specialization of neural circuitry for the processing of musical stimuli: Beat-deaf individuals exhibit deficits that are specific to the detection of a regular beat in music and the ability to move along with a beat.... Read more »

Phillips-Silver, J., Toiviainen, P., Gosselin, N., Piché, O., Nozaradan, S., Palmer, C., & Peretz, I. (2011) Born to dance but beat deaf: A new form of congenital amusia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.002  

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