Post List

  • December 8, 2014
  • 02:58 AM

Estimates of Anthropogenic Nitrogen in the Ocean May Be High

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Inundation of nitrogen into the atmosphere and terrestrial environments, through fossil fuel combustion and extensive fertilization, has risen tenfold since preindustrial times according to research published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Excess nitrogen can infiltrate water tables and can trigger extensive algal blooms that deplete aquatic environments of oxygen, among other damaging effects.

Although scientists have extensively studied the effects of excess nitrogen in terrestrial habita........ Read more »

Altieri, K., Hastings, M., Peters, A., Oleynik, S., & Sigman, D. (2014) Isotopic evidence for a marine ammonium source in rainwater at Bermuda. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. DOI: 10.1002/2014GB004809  

  • December 8, 2014
  • 12:05 AM

Athletes Rely on Athletic Trainers for Social Support Following Injury

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

More than 80% of injured college athletes reported social support from their athletic trainers during their recovery, and athletes reporting higher levels of satisfaction with the social support from their athletic trainers were less likely to report depression or anxiety at return to play.... Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 01:16 PM

Study suggests lefties actually earn less

by Gabriel 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
  • 11:23 AM

Synthetic gene circuits with a memory!

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

Imagine having a USB port in the body that we could use to insert a "flash drive" and transfer genetic data, therapies, or monitoring devices. The flash drive would have to be some kind of removable biological entity that has no problem getting in and out of the body. If you think about it, bacteria are the perfect candidates to be such devices. So, what if bacteria could be used as storage for genetic memory? This is not so far-fetched if you think that recent studies have shown for example tha........ Read more »

Ausländer D, Ausländer S, Charpin-El Hamri G, Sedlmayer F, Müller M, Frey O, Hierlemann A, Stelling J, & Fussenegger M. (2014) A synthetic multifunctional mammalian pH sensor and CO2 transgene-control device. Molecular cell, 55(3), 397-408. PMID: 25018017  

  • December 7, 2014
  • 11:08 AM

Novel Psittacine Adenovirus Responsible for Potentiating Zoonotic Psittacosis Outbreak: Emerging Co-Infections

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

A novel adenovirus potentiates the species jump of Chlamydophila psittaci from birds to man, causing atypical pneumonia (psittacosis). Viruses, in addition to jumping the species barrier themselves, now are helping other bacteria to do the same: is this the beginning of the age of microbes?... Read more »

  • December 7, 2014
  • 06:48 AM

Social Pain, Physical Pain: Different After All?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a paper just published, a group of neuroscientists report that they've changed their minds about how the brain processes social pain. Here's the paper: Separate neural representations for physical pain and social rejection

The authors are Choong-Wan Woo and colleagues of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Woo et al. say that, based on a new analysis of fMRI brain scanning data, they've found evidence inconsistent with the popular theory that the brain responds to the 'pain' of social... Read more »

Woo CW, Koban L, Kross E, Lindquist MA, Banich MT, Ruzic L, Andrews-Hanna JR, & Wager TD. (2014) Separate neural representations for physical pain and social rejection. Nature Communications, 5380. PMID: 25400102  

  • December 7, 2014
  • 03:23 AM

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.... 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

Mapping the spinal circuitry to fight phantom pain

by Gabriel 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 6, 2014
  • 03:31 AM

Risk of cancer associated with autism: small but present

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst understanding the power that headlines can have, alongside the way that statistics can sometimes mislead and/or be misrepresented, I don't want to shy away from the findings presented by Huey-Ling Chiang and colleagues [1] reporting that: "patients with autistic disorder have an increased risk of cancer."Curiosity often leads to trouble.Based yet again on data derived from the fantastic resource that is the Taiwan National Health Insurance database (see here for some other research e........ Read more »

Chiang, H., Liu, C., Hu, Y., Chen, S., Hu, L., Shen, C., Yeh, C., Chen, T., & Gau, S. (2014) Risk of Cancer in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Autistic Disorder. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.029  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:41 PM

Can psychologist and psychiatrist expert witnesses be trusted to know how memory works?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists and psychiatrists are frequently called on to provide expert testimony in court. When the memories recalled by an alleged victim, suspect and/or eye-witness become an explicit issue, is it safe to assume that the psychologist or psychiatrist in the expert role will have up-to-date scientific knowledge about the reliability of memory? Worryingly, a new Norwegian study suggests not.Annika Melinder and Svein Magnussen surveyed 858 psychologists and 78 psychiatrists about their underst........ Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 03:58 PM

Move over solar pannels, introducing spray-on solar cells

by Gabriel 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
  • 12:31 PM

Prosopometamorphopsia: The Woman Who Saw Dragons

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A 52 year old woman suffered from a strange problem: she saw dragons wherever she looked.

Here's the medical case report in The Lancet: Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations from a team of researchers including the famous Oliver Sacks.
In July, 2011, a 52-year-old woman presented to our psychiatric outpatient clinic with a life-long history of seeing people’s faces change into dragon-like faces and hallucinating similar faces many times a day.
What does a dragon look like? A... Read more »

Blom JD, Sommer IE, Koops S, & Sacks OW. (2014) Prosopometamorphopsia and facial hallucinations. Lancet, 384(9958), 1998. PMID: 25435453  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 11:56 AM

“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 5, 2014
  • 08:00 AM

Breaking Research: Glycogen build-up in the brain contributes to aging

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Total brain volume decreases as we age. Image modified from brainpowerrelease. Why is the aging process accompanied by progressive cognitive decline such as impaired memory, decreased focus, and slowed reaction time? Although we don’t fully know what causes it, researchers have found that aging visibly affects the brain, most strikingly as a decrease in total […]... Read more »

Sinadinos Christopher, Laura Boulan, Estel Solsona, Maria F. Tevy, Mercedes Marquez, Jordi Duran, Carmen Lopez-Iglesias, Joaquim Calbó, Marco Milan, & Joan J. Guinovart. (2014) Neuronal glycogen synthesis contributes to physiological aging. Aging Cell. DOI:  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 07:56 AM

Reading patterns

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a paper (citation below) that takes a different look at language. It attempts to examine what happens in the brain when we read a story. There is the act of reading, the processing of the language, and the engagement in the story, all going on at the same time. “One of the main […]... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 06:12 AM

Why Our Western Diet Is A Ticking Time Bomb

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

The Western diet places our bodies and environment under untenable pressure. By 2050, scientists predict, this lifestyle will not only constitute two thirds of overall diseases, but it also lays an untenable pressure on our environment.... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 04:48 AM

Probiotics degrading gluten peptides?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Probiotics again on this blog?OK, consider this a micropost if you will, as I draw your attention to the paper by Duar and colleagues [1] and their study results suggested to provide: "a basis for the selection of Lactobacillus strains for probiotic applications aimed to reduce epitope-containing gluten peptides before reaching the epithelium of the small intestine of celiac patients." What the Duar findings translate into is a possible gluten peptide degrading role for certain strains of probio........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 08:17 PM

The case for intermittent fasting: size matters, timing matters too

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image source: With the holidays rolling around, you’re probably worrying just a bit about your waistline. When it comes to dieting, we all know that...... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 07:39 PM

Arsenic, cadmium, and lead: A toxic trinity of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease?

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

A modern cause of Alzheimer’s disease may lie in the ancient poisons of arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Indian researchers recently reported that young rats exposed to water contaminated with these toxic metals developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a form of … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 4, 2014
  • 07:24 PM

Non-Echolocating Bats Actually Echolocate Using Wing Clicks

by beredim in Strange Animals

Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus)A non-echolocating speciesCredit: MnolfContrary to what most people think, bats are not blind. The truth is that all one-thousand something bat species can see. Most people also think that since bats are blind they rely on their echolocation to get around. Again a mistake, since many bats don't possess echolocation.For example, most species of Megabats [Suborder: Megachiroptera] have to rely exclusively on their vision. Or that's what we thought up ........ Read more »

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