Post List

  • October 7, 2014
  • 10:15 AM
  • 108 views

Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Sometimes scientists need to make their research subjects’ lives harder. No matter how much affection they may feel for those flatworms or fish or pigeons, there are certain things they can only learn by forcing the animals to use more energy. But for animals living in the wild, this can be tricky. Now scientists studying […]The post Scientists Recommend Vole Shaving appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Szafrańska PA, Zub K, Wieczorek M, Książek A, Speakman JR, & Konarzewski M. (2014) Shaving increases daily energy expenditures in free living root voles. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25278468  

  • October 7, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 148 views

Get Some Sleep - Your Brain Will Thank You

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

We all know we should get more sleep, but new research is showing that it isn’t just a good idea, it preserves brain structure and function. Sleep loss affects learning, and new studies show that sleep deprivation can cause irreversible neuron loss in the locus coeruleus, and that depression associated with lack of sleep can reduce hippocampus size. In fatal familial insomnia, the prion plaques destroy the thalamus and indicate a decrease in mitochondrial function – the same type pro........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 07:21 AM
  • 115 views

Are sweet-toothed people really sweet-natured?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Three years ago psychologists reported that we assume people who like sweet food are also sweet natured. More surprisingly perhaps, Brian Meier and his colleagues also found that the sweet-toothed really do have more agreeable personalities and are more inclined to behave altruistically.How far can we trust these eye-catching results? There is a growing recognition in psychology of the need to attempt replications of past findings. In that spirit, a new paper led by Michael Ashton has attempted ........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 05:17 AM
  • 96 views

Story behind our paper on speeding-up all-against-all comparisons for homology inference

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

This post accompanies a recent publication and is part of our
series story behind the paper,
inspired by Jonathan Eisen’s series of the same
name.

One fundamental step in sequence analysis is the identification of homologous
sequences, sequences related through common ancestry. There are many different
ways of identifying homolog but they broadly fall into two categories:
all-against-all comparisons and clustering.

The all-against-all approach aligns every sequence with every other........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2014
  • 05:02 AM
  • 106 views

Infection during pregnancy and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Lee and colleagues [1] forms the starting material for today's blog post looking at hospitalisation for infection during pregnancy as potentially being a risk factor for receipt of a subsequent diagnosis for autism in offspring."Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling"Based on data derived from one of those very useful Scandinavian health registries, authors observed "approximately a 30% increase in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk associated with any inpatient diag........ Read more »

Lee BK, Magnusson C, Gardner RM, Blomström S, Newschaffer CJ, Burstyn I, Karlsson H, & Dalman C. (2014) Maternal hospitalization with infection during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 25218900  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 07:23 PM
  • 120 views

Centrifuging people to see if gravity affects perception

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study looks places test subjects in a centrifuge to see the effect of different levels of simulated gravity on the 'perceptual upright'... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 06:48 PM
  • 118 views

Can our brains process words while we sleep?

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study investigates whether the human brain can respond to words while in a state of sleep... Read more »

Kouider, S., Andrillon, T., Barbosa, L., Goupil, L., & Bekinschtein, T. (2014) Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain. Current Biology, 24(18), 2208-2214. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.016  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:55 PM
  • 116 views

Orange Corn Aims to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

GMO food is still a hot button topic, honestly for no other reason than fear. Sure Monsanto is a big evil corporation, but the science is only as bad as what you do with it. In the modern fortified world we don’t think about vitamin deficiency or the horrible things that come with it, however vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem in developing countries. To combat this researchers have identified a set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels, a fi........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 02:29 PM
  • 110 views

The Biology of Nagging

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

A female pied flycatcher can't feed herself sufficientlywhile she incubates her eggs and newly-hatchedchicks. Photo by Alejandro Cantarero.I have been blessed with the fortune of not just having two healthy and happy babies, but being able to spend much of the spring and summer nurturing them and watching them develop and grow. But it has not been all roses: their smiles beam through the fog of my sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Their tears are met with my own. Our clothes are stained in a ra........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 11:18 AM
  • 76 views

Bioinformatics tools extracted from a typical mammalian genome project [supplement]

by Mary in OpenHelix

This is Table 1 that accompanies the full blog post: Bioinformatics tools extracted from a typical mammalian genome project. See the main post for the details and explanation. The table is too long to keep in the post, but I wanted it to be web-searchable. A copy also resides at FigShare: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1194867 Software tool/object/item/resource access […]... Read more »

Carbone Lucia, R. Alan Harris, Sante Gnerre, Krishna R. Veeramah, Belen Lorente-Galdos, John Huddleston, Thomas J. Meyer, Javier Herrero, Christian Roos, Bronwen Aken.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13679  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 11:12 AM
  • 76 views

Bioinformatics tools extracted from a typical mammalian genome project

by Mary in OpenHelix

In this extended blog post, I describe my efforts to extract the information about bioinformatics-related items from a recent genome sequencing paper, and the larger issues this raises in the field. It’s long, and it’s something of a hybrid between a blog post and a paper format, just to give it some structure for my […]... Read more »

Carbone Lucia, R. Alan Harris, Sante Gnerre, Krishna R. Veeramah, Belen Lorente-Galdos, John Huddleston, Thomas J. Meyer, Javier Herrero, Christian Roos, Bronwen Aken.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13679  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 07:17 AM
  • 97 views

A new feature of neurons

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There are articles asking, “Are we ever going to understand the brain?” They imply that we have been studying the brain for long enough to be able to say how it works, if we are ever going to, and therefore hinting that it is a permanent mystery. But every week or so some new wrinkle […]... Read more »

Johansson, F., Jirenhed, D., Rasmussen, A., Zucca, R., & Hesslow, G. (2014) Memory trace and timing mechanism localized to cerebellar Purkinje cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415371111  

  • October 6, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 109 views

Correcting vitamin D levels improves fatigue severity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was interested to read the paper by Satyajeet Roy and colleagues [1] (open-access here) concluding that: "Normalization of vitamin D levels with ergocalciferol therapy significantly improves the severity of... fatigue symptoms". Ergocalciferol by the way, means vitamin D2, which is distinct from cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), the seemingly more desirable form of vitamin D supplementation (see here)."It's beyond my control"The Roy paper is open-access but a few details might be useful:........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 04:34 AM
  • 101 views

Other people can tell whether your partner is cheating on you

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Do humans have an infidelity radar?We can identify a surprising amount of information about each other from the briefest of glimpses - a process that psychologists call thin-slicing. In the latest study in this area, a group led by Nathaniel Lambert have explored whether we can watch a romantic couple interact and tell within minutes whether one of them is a cheat.Fifty-one student participants (35 women) in a relationship answered survey questions about their own infidelities toward their curre........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 04:13 AM
  • 92 views

Not-So-Green Men

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

The Webb Telescope searches for alien life on exoplanets by analyzing CFC pollution from potentially advanced civilizations.... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:33 AM
  • 139 views

Old people are immune against the cocktail party effect

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Imagine standing at a cocktail party and somewhere your name gets mentioned. Your attention is immediately grabbed by the sound of your name. It is a classic psychological effect with a new twist: old people are immune. The so-called cocktail party effect has fascinated researchers for a long time. Even though you do not consciously […]... Read more »

Naveh-Benjamin M, Kilb A, Maddox GB, Thomas J, Fine HC, Chen T, & Cowan N. (2014) Older adults do not notice their names: A new twist to a classic attention task. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition. PMID: 24820668  

  • October 5, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 94 views

Models and metaphors we live by

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors we live by is a classic, that has had a huge influence on parts of linguistics and cognitive science, and some influence — although less so, in my opinion — on philosophy. It is structured around the thought that “[m]etaphor is one of our most important tools for trying […]... Read more »

Narayanan, S. (1997) Embodiment in language understanding: Sensory-motor representations for metaphoric reasoning about event descriptions. PhD Thesis (University of California, Berkeley). info:/

  • October 5, 2014
  • 09:21 PM
  • 108 views

Serotonin, depression, neurogenesis, and the beauty of science

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

If you asked any self-respecting neuroscientist 25 years ago what causes depression, she would likely have only briefly considered the question before responding that depression is caused by a monoamine deficiency. Specifically, she might have added, in many cases it seems to be caused by low levels of serotonin in the brain. The monoamine hypothesis that she would have been referring to was first formulated in the late 1960s, and at that time was centered primarily around norepinephrine. But in........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2014
  • 05:09 PM
  • 94 views

The Playing Ground Part Two

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Does the removal of park benches from a playground increase physical activity in adults and children?... Read more »

  • October 5, 2014
  • 01:43 PM
  • 120 views

Using “Programmable” Antibiotics to Attack Drug-Resistant Microbes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The body is pretty great at self regulation, that is up until it isn't. The antibiotic era was one that improved human health hundreds of times over. Unfortunately health is a joint effort, a multitude of microbes scientists have found populating the human body have good, bad and mostly mysterious implications for our health. But when something goes wrong, we defend ourselves with the undiscriminating brute force of traditional antibiotics, which wipe out everything at once like a wild fire, reg........ Read more »

Luciano Marraffini et al. (2014) Exploiting CRISPR-Cas nucleases to produce sequence-specific antimicrobials. Nature Biotechnology. info:/10.1038/nbt.3043

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