Post List

  • April 5, 2016
  • 01:59 PM
  • 147 views

Extreme slam dunk injuries

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

For today's edition of weird sports injuries, dunking a basketball is not without its risks... Read more »

  • April 5, 2016
  • 06:43 AM
  • 202 views

Coffee’s Guilty Pleasure

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Eco-friendly behaviors, such as recycling coffee pods, are associated with a sense of pride.... Read more »

  • April 5, 2016
  • 04:29 AM
  • 189 views

Most of us think we know more than we do – have these psychologists found the cure?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Most of us massively overestimate our understanding of everyday objects, like the vacuum cleaner"True wisdom is knowing what you don't know" Socrates.When we're asked how much we understand the workings of everyday things like vacuum cleaners or computer printers, most of us massively overestimate our own knowledge. This overconfidence extends beyond objects to more abstract matters, such as our comprehension of political policies, and collectively the phenomenon is known as "the illusion of exp........ Read more »

  • April 5, 2016
  • 03:29 AM
  • 154 views

A web service to facilitate orthology benchmarking

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

Our latest paper, “Standardized Benchmarking in the Quest for Orthologs”, just came out in Nature Methods. This is a brief overview and story behind the paper.

Orthology benchmarking

Orthology, which formalises the concept of “same” genes in different species, is a foundation of genomics. Last year alone, more than 13,000 scientific papers were published with keyword “ortholog”. To satisfy this enormous demand, many methods and resources for ortholog inference have ........ Read more »

Altenhoff, A., Boeckmann, B., Capella-Gutierrez, S., Dalquen, D., DeLuca, T., Forslund, K., Huerta-Cepas, J., Linard, B., Pereira, C., Pryszcz, L.... (2016) Standardized benchmarking in the quest for orthologs. Nature Methods. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.3830  

Gabaldón, T., Dessimoz, C., Huxley-Jones, J., Vilella, A., Sonnhammer, E., & Lewis, S. (2009) Joining forces in the quest for orthologs. Genome Biology, 10(9), 403. DOI: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-9-403  

Dessimoz, C., Gabaldon, T., Roos, D., Sonnhammer, E., Herrero, J., & Quest for Orthologs Consortium. (2012) Toward community standards in the quest for orthologs. Bioinformatics, 28(6), 900-904. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bts050  

Sonnhammer, E., Gabaldon, T., Sousa da Silva, A., Martin, M., Robinson-Rechavi, M., Boeckmann, B., Thomas, P., Dessimoz, C., & , . (2014) Big data and other challenges in the quest for orthologs. Bioinformatics, 30(21), 2993-2998. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu492  

  • April 5, 2016
  • 02:49 AM
  • 162 views

Folate receptor autoantibodies (FRAAs) and a 'type' of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This study suggests that FRAAs [folate receptor α (FRα) autoantibodies] are associated with specific physiological and behavioral characteristics in children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and provides support for the notion that these biomarkers may be useful for subgrouping children with ASD, especially with respect to targeted treatments."So said the study findings published by Richard Frye and colleagues [1] (open-access) who continued a research theme looking at ........ Read more »

Frye, R., Delhey, L., Slattery, J., Tippett, M., Wynne, R., Rose, S., Kahler, S., Bennuri, S., Melnyk, S., Sequeira, J.... (2016) Blocking and Binding Folate Receptor Alpha Autoantibodies Identify Novel Autism Spectrum Disorder Subgroups. Frontiers in Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00080  

  • April 4, 2016
  • 08:58 PM
  • 156 views

Big Bird: Unusual Nesting in the Ostrich

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

I discuss the unique courtship and nesting behaviors of the ostrich and how these behaviors relate to ostrich farming.... Read more »

  • April 4, 2016
  • 06:15 PM
  • 151 views

Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

I wrote about the start of the ALPS (Amiodarone, Lidocaine, Placebo Study) in 2012[1] and the results are now in.
... Read more »

Kudenchuk, P., Brown, S., Daya, M., Rea, T., Nichol, G., Morrison, L., Leroux, B., Vaillancourt, C., Wittwer, L., Callaway, C.... (2016) Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514204  

  • April 4, 2016
  • 03:57 PM
  • 166 views

Your brain has an altered response to desirable foods

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Hungry? Well, let’s face it, that pizza looks much better than the salad. Don’t deny it salad lovers, we all know behind closed doors you look at plenty of food porn to satiate your desires. Understanding the motivations that drive us to eat is important when we talk about weight loss and how we attempt to structure diets. Now a new study shows that for overweight individuals, the brain responses differently to desirable foods., but hold that thought, because there is hope.

... Read more »

  • April 4, 2016
  • 02:41 PM
  • 156 views

Imaging with CRISPR/Cas9

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

The hottest buzz-word in biology today is CRISPR: an adaptive immune system in bacteria and archea. At its basis is a nuclease, named Cas9, which is targeted to DNA by a short single-guide RNA (sgRNA). This turned out to be … Continue reading →... Read more »

Deng W, Shi X, Tjian R, Lionnet T, & Singer RH. (2015) CASFISH: CRISPR/Cas9-mediated in situ labeling of genomic loci in fixed cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(38), 11870-5. PMID: 26324940  

Nelles DA, Fang MY, O'Connell MR, Xu JL, Markmiller SJ, Doudna JA, & Yeo GW. (2016) Programmable RNA Tracking in Live Cells with CRISPR/Cas9. Cell, 1-9. PMID: 26997482  

  • April 4, 2016
  • 04:53 AM
  • 136 views

Fantasy-based pretend play is beneficial to children's mental abilities

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

To prepare our children to meet the goals of a complex world, we should pull them out of their managed world and plop them in the mermaid’s court. That’s the verdict of a randomised control trial published recently in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology that found American pre-schoolers who engaged in fantastical pretend play showed improvements to their executive function – the suite of cognitive abilities that organises thought and actions to achieve goals.The study involved dai........ Read more »

  • April 4, 2016
  • 02:37 AM
  • 167 views

Relative age and ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"ADHD children may just be immature, research suggests".So went the recent BBC headline with reference to the findings reported by Mu-Hong Chen and colleagues [1] (open-access) and the idea that: "Relative age, as an indicator of neurocognitive maturity, is crucial in the risk of being diagnosed with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and receiving ADHD medication among children and adolescents."Chen et al are not unfamiliar names discussed on this blog (see here........ Read more »

  • April 3, 2016
  • 09:20 PM
  • 120 views

The Illumina Error Profile for Metagenomic Sequencing

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

Microbiology, and especially microbial ecology, has become increasingly dependent on advanced DNA and RNA sequencing technologies. This is most evident with the increasing popularity of the human microbiome and its various impacts on human health...... Read more »

  • April 3, 2016
  • 03:25 PM
  • 168 views

Debunking the Myth of the Sole Genious

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Innovations don’t require heroic geniuses any more than your thoughts hinge on a particular neuron.... Read more »

Muthukrishna, M., & Henrich, J. (2016) Innovation in the collective brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1690), 20150192. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0192  

  • April 3, 2016
  • 03:17 PM
  • 180 views

Early detection of dementia in Parkinson’s disease might be key to treatment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If Parkinson’s disease wasn’t bad enough for families to have to learn to deal with, about 80% of patients also develop dementia. That’s the problem with the brain; while it has the amazing ability to adapt to just about anything, it can’t fix everything. There are no particularly good solutions to Parkinson’s or dementia, however, early detection of dementia is key to keeping it at bay and a new study may have a way to do just that.

... Read more »

Bertrand, J., McIntosh, A., Postuma, R., Kovacevic, N., Latreille, V., Panisset, M., Chouinard, S., & Gagnon, J. (2016) Brain Connectivity Alterations Are Associated with the Development of Dementia in Parkinson's Disease. Brain Connectivity, 6(3), 216-224. DOI: 10.1089/brain.2015.0390  

  • April 2, 2016
  • 04:43 PM
  • 197 views

Born to run? Love of exercise may start in the womb

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you see me on the street and I am running, there is a good chance you should be running as well, because something dangerous is coming. I don’t run, I hate to run, I loathe running, did I mention I don’t like to run? Maybe it’s all the running I did in the military, or if a new study is correct, it may have to do with my mother. Which is good, because now I can blame someone else for my hatred of running.

... Read more »

Eclarinal, J., Zhu, S., Baker, M., Piyarathna, D., Coarfa, C., Fiorotto, M., & Waterland, R. (2016) Maternal exercise during pregnancy promotes physical activity in adult offspring. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500018R  

  • April 2, 2016
  • 11:38 AM
  • 212 views

Statistics: When Confounding Variables Are Out of Control

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Does ice cream cause drownings? Let's think about this statistically. Consider that, in any given city, daily sales of ice cream are, most likely, positively correlated with daily rates of drownings.



Now, no matter how strong this correlation is, it doesn't really mean that ice cream is dangerous. Rather, the association exists because of a 'confound' variable. In this case it's temperature: on sunny days, people tend to eat more ice cream and they also tend to go swimming more often, thu... Read more »

  • April 2, 2016
  • 04:05 AM
  • 185 views

Joint attention interventions for children with autism (mostly) work

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today (April 2nd) is World Autism Awareness Day. The theme this year is on inclusion and as the United Nations note: "Mainstreaming disability" insofar as recognising that: "Autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity." A noble cause indeed; not forgetting that for many on the autism spectrum, long-term outcome remains poor (see here) and awareness about human diversity really needs to go hand-in-hand with real action to change prospe........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2016
  • 11:12 PM
  • 163 views

Technology, Dreams and April Fool's Jokes

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

At least once per year, and more is likely better, laughter is the best medicine. On April Fool's Day, everybody from school-age kids to technology companies tries to trick people into believing into jokes. Yet, as Sigmund Freud suggested, jokes often expose unconscious desires. Perhaps the technologies listed below, too,  have a grain of our desires wrapped in a smile?

Here are a few announcements made on April 1 2016.... Read more »

[No authors listed]. (2000) April Fool's Day and the Medicinal Value of Humor. The virtual mentor : VM, 2(4). PMID: 23270623  

  • April 1, 2016
  • 03:32 PM
  • 156 views

Stopping organ rejection: An end to the medication

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you’re a transplant recipient you know that transplant organs are a veritable ticking time bomb waiting to be rejected by your well-meaning (but stupid) body. Not only can you do everything right and still have the organs rejected, you have to take a steady stream of expensive pills to inhibit the immune system and stop the body from launching its attack. Don’t throw your pill organizers away just yet, but soon.

... Read more »

MacDonald, K., Hoeppli, R., Huang, Q., Gillies, J., Luciani, D., Orban, P., Broady, R., & Levings, M. (2016) Alloantigen-specific regulatory T cells generated with a chimeric antigen receptor. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126(4), 1413-1424. DOI: 10.1172/JCI82771  

  • April 1, 2016
  • 11:26 AM
  • 171 views

What's In a Snout?

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



It may sound superficial, but you can judge a lot about an animal from its schnoz. Plant-eaters have evolved the perfect snout shapes to nibble, chomp, or tear up the foods they love. And by decoding those shapes, scientists hope they can learn more about plant-eaters that are more mysterious—namely, dinosaurs.

"When you see cows in a field, their faces almost look like they're glued to the ground as they nibble away," says Jon Tennant, a PhD student at Imperial College London. Cows are ........ Read more »

Tennant, J., & MacLeod, N. (2014) Snout Shape in Extant Ruminants. PLoS ONE, 9(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112035  

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