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  • February 26, 2015
  • 03:04 PM
  • 49 views

Dr. Frankenstein might be impressed, the human head transplant

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sure it sounds like something from the book Frankenstein, but Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group has made it known that he intends to announce at this summer’s American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons meeting, that he believes he has put together a group of techniques that should make it possible to attach a human donor body to a head.... Read more »

  • February 25, 2015
  • 03:38 PM
  • 91 views

The food additive that may be promoting obesity and metabolic syndrome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People say to avoid processed foods, while I don’t agree with that fully, a new study suggests that a common food additive may be causing problems. Emulsifiers, which are added to most processed foods to aid texture and extend shelf life, can alter the gut microbiota composition and localization to induce intestinal inflammation that promotes the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 04:38 PM
  • 40 views

Move over oil, new pretreatment could cut biofuel costs by 30 percent or more

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alternative fuels have a few large problems making them horrible options over oil (which is already a horrible choice). However, researchers may have finally eliminated one of those problems, cost. The team has invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels.... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 03:11 AM
  • 33 views

Shelf Life: the Olinguito’s Skull

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Instead of travelling to remote locations in faraway countries, scientists sometimes discover a new species by looking a little more closely at an old specimen in a museum drawer. ... Read more... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 04:21 PM
  • 52 views

Brain waves help memory formation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 10:06 AM
  • 44 views

Effects of Iron Deficiency in Female Runners (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Ana Breit When people think of nutritional deficiencies, they probably picture women with goiters due to lack of iodine or other newsworthy examples. In reality, the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States is iron deficiency. Iron Deficiency (ID) is especially common in endurance athletes, especially female athletes. Start of 2013 Roy Griak Invitational Cross Country Meet at the University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Larson.Iron is the metal in humans that ........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:50 PM
  • 53 views

Teaching: So Easy a "Housewife" Could Do It?

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Two years before the United States put men on the moon, William James Popham and colleagues conducted two very interesting—and to a reader in the 21st century, bizarre—education experiments in southern California which were designed to validate a test they had developed to measure what they called "teacher proficiency."... Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 07:00 PM
  • 69 views

New neurons in the adult brain help us adapt

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear. In a review article researchers synthesize the vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that influence the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in memory and learning.... Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:13 AM
  • 60 views

Of tree rings and rain: drought predicted to worsen in southwestern United States

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Droughts have been severe in California and surrounding states, but will they be any worse than previous droughts in Earth's history? A combination of climate models and tree ring analysis provides an answer.... Read more »

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. (2015) Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 21, 2015
  • 02:36 PM
  • 82 views

Mental illness and ultradian rhythms

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the relatively new 24 hour, always on the go, digital lifestyle we live — might living a structured life with regularly established mealtimes and early bedtimes lead to a better life and perhaps even prevent the onset of mental illness? Well according to a new study, it might do just that, you could have a better quality of life just by being a little more structured thanks to our circadian rhythm.... Read more »

  • February 20, 2015
  • 04:59 PM
  • 80 views

Overriding muscles’ energy efficiency to burn more fat

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What started as an evolutionary protection against starvation has become a biological “bad joke” for people who need to lose weight. The human body doesn’t distinguish between dieting and possible starvation, so when there is a decrease in calories consumed, human metabolism increases its energy efficiency and weight loss is resisted.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2015
  • 03:31 PM
  • 73 views

Predicting the effectiveness of cancer vaccines

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer vaccines, once they were science fiction and now they are designed to turn the body’s own immune system specifically against tumor cells. Particularly promising are vaccines that are directed against so-called neoantigens — which are proteins that have undergone a genetic mutation in tumor cells and, therefore, differ from their counterparts in healthy cells.... Read more »

Bunse, L., Schumacher, T., Sahm, F., Pusch, S., Oezen, I., Rauschenbach, K., Gonzalez, M., Solecki, G., Osswald, M., Capper, D.... (2015) Proximity ligation assay evaluates IDH1R132H presentation in gliomas. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI77780  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 06:17 PM
  • 83 views

The biofuel controversy

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Many countries are adding biofuels to their mandates for carbon-free, renewable energy? But does biofuel truly fit the bill? Not so much, contrary to what popular culture hopes to believe. Find out the details here.... Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 03:13 PM
  • 70 views

Scientists find anti-HIV agent and possible start for a vaccine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We may just have found a missing link in the fight towards an HIV vaccine. No, this is not an over-hyped headline, in a remarkable new advance against the virus that causes AIDS, scientists have announced the creation of a novel drug candidate that is so potent and universally effective, it might work as part of an unconventional vaccine.... Read more »

Gardner, M., Kattenhorn, L., Kondur, H., von Schaewen, M., Dorfman, T., Chiang, J., Haworth, K., Decker, J., Alpert, M., Bailey, C.... (2015) AAV-expressed eCD4-Ig provides durable protection from multiple SHIV challenges. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14264  

  • February 17, 2015
  • 02:26 PM
  • 86 views

Shopping while hungry leads to more non-food purchases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever go shopping when you’re hungry and notice you walked out with a lot more than you were expecting to buy? While most people know that when you are hungry, you typically will buy more food (as illustrated by The Oatmeal above), new research shows that there is a clear link between hunger and buying non-food items. A team of international researchers has released a paper that describes five laboratory and field studies they conducted which showed how people respond to non-food objects when ........ Read more »

Alison Jing Xu, Norbert Schwarz, & Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2015) Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1417712112

  • February 16, 2015
  • 06:00 PM
  • 100 views

Why low-carb or fasting diets are good for your health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While most research regarding fat loss focuses on the risks of being overweight, a new study shows that fasting, low-carb diets, or high-intensity exercise have specific health benefits. Specifically, researchers have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.... Read more »

Youm, Y., Nguyen, K., Grant, R., Goldberg, E., Bodogai, M., Kim, D., D'Agostino, D., Planavsky, N., Lupfer, C., Kanneganti, T.... (2015) The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome–mediated inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3804  

Coll, R., Robertson, A., Chae, J., Higgins, S., Muñoz-Planillo, R., Inserra, M., Vetter, I., Dungan, L., Monks, B., Stutz, A.... (2015) A small-molecule inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3806  

  • February 15, 2015
  • 03:13 PM
  • 103 views

The “successful aging” debate

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We see it everyday in advertising, turn back the clock, reverse aging — look, feel, and be younger. With all these standards, how do you define aging, or more importantly successful aging. Scholars have long debated what successful aging is, how to measure it, and how to promote it. But researchers are now laying the groundwork for building consensus on the topic — while pointing out that the answer may differ among academics and the general public, as well as across populations and demograp........ Read more »

  • February 15, 2015
  • 01:09 PM
  • 128 views

Inequality in faculty placement

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

How does your PhD institution affect your chances at a faculty position? Across disciplines, we find steep prestige hierarchies, in which only 9 to 14% of faculty are placed at institutions more prestigious than their doctorate…Under a meritocracy, the observed … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clauset A, Arbesman S, & Larremore DB. (2015) Systematic inequality and hierarchy in faculty hiring networks. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 14, 2015
  • 06:36 PM
  • 112 views

A very Sciencey Valentine’s day

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happy valentines day! Okay maybe it’s turned into more of a reason to spend money on chocolate and flowers than it is about showing affection — which is probably why some people hate it — but it can still be a somewhat special day. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling on what I could do for my wife on valentines day. So I thought I would work it out here and maybe even help a few of you who are stuck as well.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 94 views

Interstellar helps physicists research spinning black holes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a saying that life imitates art and while people like to disagree with the meaning of it, sometimes art can imitate life. For instance the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.... Read more »

Oliver James, Eugenie von Tunzelmann, Paul Franklin, & Kip S. Thorne. (2015) Gravitational Lensing by Spinning Black Holes in Astrophysics, and in the Movie Interstellar. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arXiv: 1502.03808v1

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