Post List

  • June 10, 2016
  • 11:50 AM
  • 172 views

Beetle Moms Make Anti-Aphrodisiac to Keep Dads Focused on Parenting

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



"Not tonight, honey," says the female burying beetle, chewing up a mouthful of mouse carcass before spitting it into the mouth of a begging larva.

For the first few days of their babies' lives, burying beetles co-parent. They devote themselves to keeping their squirming larvae alive. That means mating and laying more eggs would be a waste of energy. And to make sure males get that message, females emit a pheromone that turns them off.

"It is quite surprising," says University of Ulm be... Read more »

  • June 10, 2016
  • 08:31 AM
  • 208 views

Decoding Faces from the Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a fascinating new paper, researchers Hongmi Lee and Brice A. Kuhl report that they can decode faces from neural activity. Armed with a brain scanner, they can reconstruct which face a participant has in mind. It's a cool technique that really seems to fit the description of 'mind reading' - although the method's accuracy is only modest.


Here's how they did it. Lee and Kuhl started out with a set of over 1000 color photos of different faces. During an fMRI scan, these images were shown to... Read more »

Lee H, & Kuhl BA. (2016) Reconstructing Perceived and Retrieved Faces from Activity Patterns in Lateral Parietal Cortex. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(22), 6069-82. PMID: 27251627  

  • June 10, 2016
  • 06:14 AM
  • 215 views

BHD syndrome and thyroid conditions

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Dong et al., (2016) have recently reported two BHD syndrome patients also affected with papillary thyroid cancer. Lesions were bilateral and multifocal and small lymph node metastases occurred. Due to the small number of patients in the study the authors are unsure whether thyroid cancer in BHD patients is susceptible to exhibiting bilaterally and lymph node metastasis. However, they suggest considering thyroidectomy and prophylactic lymph node dissection for thyroid cancer patients with BHD. Th........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2016
  • 03:07 AM
  • 186 views

Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis "mimicking an autistic regression"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis is not something that I ever envisaged talking about so much on this blog primarily concerned with autism research. Describing an often severe form of encephalitis where the body mounts an immune response against self ("the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor"), this condition is more readily associated with the symptoms of psychosis than anything specifically autism-related.But yet again (see here and see here) I'm talking about peer-reviewed research suggestin........ Read more »

Hacohen Y, Wright S, Gadian J, Vincent A, Lim M, Wassmer E, & Lin JP. (2016) N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antibodies encephalitis mimicking an autistic regression. Developmental medicine and child neurology. PMID: 27255282  

  • June 9, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 186 views

Multiple realizability of replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Abstraction is my favorite part of mathematics. I find a certain beauty in seeing structures without their implementations, or structures that are preserved across various implementations. And although it seems possible to reason through analogy without (explicit) abstraction, I would not enjoy being restricted in such a way. In biology and medicine, however, I often […]... Read more »

Taylor, P., & Jonker, L. (1978) Evolutionary stable strategies and game dynamics. Mathematical Biosciences, 40(1-2), 145-156. DOI: 10.1016/0025-5564(78)90077-9  

  • June 9, 2016
  • 04:13 PM
  • 172 views

Researchers watch skin cells 'walk' to wounds

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research is giving a whole new meaning to feeling your skin crawl. Skin cells typically spend their entire existence in one place on your body. But researchers have seen how the cells will alter the proteins holding them in place and move to repair a wound.

... Read more »

  • June 9, 2016
  • 11:21 AM
  • 94 views

Back to life – Resurrection plants and the future of food

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

Life on Earth was born in water. Then, about half a billion years ago, the first organisms stare colonizing lands that offered new spaces, less predators and, in time, abundant oxygen and nutrients. Still, the indissoluble bond that living organisms had with water remained, and in order to survive in this new environment plants and animals had to develop anatomical, physiological and behavioral adaptations to better obtain, manage and save water. Plant bodies, as well as ours, are mostly made of........ Read more »

Moore, J., Le, N., Brandt, W., Driouich, A., & Farrant, J. (2009) Towards a systems-based understanding of plant desiccation tolerance. Trends in Plant Science, 14(2), 110-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.11.007  

  • June 9, 2016
  • 05:36 AM
  • 99 views

Parents who think failure is harmful to learning have children who think ability is fixed

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Children respond better to learning setbacks when they believe that ability and intelligence are malleable – that is, when they have what psychologists call a "growth mindset" rather than a "fixed mindset". This immediately raises the question of how to cultivate a growth mindset in children.So far, there's been a lot of attention on how to praise children (it's better to focus on their effort and strategies rather than their ability), but not much else. Surprisingly, parents' mindsets (growth........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2016
  • 02:50 AM
  • 171 views

Prenatal nicotine exposure and offspring schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Another reason why pregnant women shouldn’t smoke: schizophrenia" went one media headline reporting on the findings by Solja Niemelä and colleagues [1] who concluded that their results were the "most definitive evidence to date that smoking during pregnancy is associated with schizophrenia."Analysing data from nearly 1000 people identified with schizophrenia whose information, and that of their mothers, were held in one of two databases - the Finnish Prenatal Study of Schizophrenia........ Read more »

Niemelä, S., Sourander, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., McKeague, I., Cheslack-Postava, K., & Brown, A. (2016) Prenatal Nicotine Exposure and Risk of Schizophrenia Among Offspring in a National Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15060800  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 04:08 PM
  • 267 views

Air pollution affects young people's psychiatric health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Smog has been a part of modern life since the industrial revolution, unfortunately all that pollution isn't just hurting the environment -- but come on, you saw this coming... right? New research from Sweden indicates that dispensed medication for psychiatric diagnosis can be related to air pollution concentrations. More and more studies show that the brain and human cognitive development are affected by pollution.

... Read more »

  • June 8, 2016
  • 11:17 AM
  • 205 views

Dolphins Cooperate by Talking It Out

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



How do you know when animals are working together? Just because two animals got something done jointly doesn't mean they cooperated. They might have succeeded by dumb luck, or trial and error. Scientists who study animal minds, though, would really like to know when cooperation happens on purpose—and how animal partners manage to communicate with each other.

Studies in capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees hinted that the primates coordinated their actions by glancing at each other. (But this ........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2016
  • 10:00 AM
  • 198 views

Canine Science is Better than Common Sense

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

We need canine science because common sense can lead us astray.Recently I wrote about why science matters to our dogs and cats, based on findings from Dr. Paige Jarreau’s research that suggests science blogs (like this one) may contribute to readers having a better knowledge of science.I thought of this again recently because a comment I often see from readers – on any kind of science story on the internet – is "don’t we know this already? Isn’t it just common sense?"I understand the c........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2016
  • 09:37 AM
  • 180 views

Video Tip of the Week: MyGene2, connecting families with rare conditions with each other

by Mary in OpenHelix

Last week’s tip encouraged people to think about how their DNA may be used by various stakeholders. This could be researchers, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and so on. But one thing it didn’t really cover–now that I think of it–was connecting with other families who may share variations that impact the health of someone in their […]... Read more »

  • June 8, 2016
  • 09:25 AM
  • 218 views

Immune To Evolution

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Recent studies show that plant immune reactions include responses that are adaptive. Even more amazing, these responses include the recruitment of parasitic wasps to combat some herbivorous invaders. In addition, several plant chemicals that prime the immune responses have been identified, leading to a sort of immune memory. Plants do all this without a classical immune system. Once again, plants show us that in many ways, they are more complex than mammals.... Read more »

Fatouros, N., Lucas-Barbosa, D., Weldegergis, B., Pashalidou, F., van Loon, J., Dicke, M., Harvey, J., Gols, R., & Huigens, M. (2012) Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels. PLoS ONE, 7(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043607  

Yun, B., Feechan, A., Yin, M., Saidi, N., Le Bihan, T., Yu, M., Moore, J., Kang, J., Kwon, E., Spoel, S.... (2011) S-nitrosylation of NADPH oxidase regulates cell death in plant immunity. Nature, 264-268. DOI: 10.1038/nature10427  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 07:22 AM
  • 216 views

Weird stuff found in recreational drugs: Alcohol edition

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Today's post is the first in a series I'm going to write about extra ingredients found in illicit recreational drugs. One of the major issues with street drugs is their manufacture and distribution is often poorly regulated. This means they can accidentally become contaminated with all sorts of toxic substances during production. Additionally, a wide range of chemical compounds, some of them harmful, may be intentionally added to dilute a drug (like a bar watering down their drinks to make more ........ Read more »

Holstege CP, Ferguson JD, Wolf CE, Baer AB, & Poklis A. (2004) Analysis of moonshine for contaminants. Journal of Toxicology. Clinical Toxicology, 42(5), 597-601. PMID: 15462151  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 166 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “This is really about morality” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a research finding that some might call a “silver bullet” for litigation advocacy. We are always looking for nuggets of wisdom in research findings and this is one we think makes a lot of sense for use in court. These researchers wanted to see if people could “be induced to view their own attitudes […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make them eat brussel sprouts
Simple Jury Persuasion: “Hey, look over here for a second!” 
Simple Jury Persuasion: You lookin’........ Read more »

Luttrell, A., Petty, R., Briñol, P., & Wagner, B. (2016) Making it moral: Merely labeling an attitude as moral increases its strength. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.04.003  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 05:38 AM
  • 204 views

Cultural evolution in killer whales

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Auka watches mother and the other adults hunt. They are black-and-white ghosts flitting through the waters of their chilly world. Their prey is fast, agile. Coordination is key. Which is why the young ones have to stay behind. There is no place for playfulness during the hunt. But Auka doesn’t feel playful. She ignores the […]... Read more »

Foote AD, Vijay N, Ávila-Arcos MC, Baird RW, Durban JW, Fumagalli M, Gibbs RA, Hanson MB, Korneliussen TS, Martin MD.... (2016) Genome-culture coevolution promotes rapid divergence of killer whale ecotypes. Nature communications, 11693. PMID: 27243207  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 04:44 AM
  • 93 views

You laugh differently with friends than you do with strangers (and listeners can tell the difference)

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Lucy FoulkesThe amount and type of laughter between two people can potentially tell us much more than that they are sharing a joke. For example, friends laugh more than strangers, and shared laughter can be an indicator of sexual interest between a couple. But as onlookers, how well can we use the sound of laughter to make these kinds of inferences? A new study in PNAS is the first to investigate this and it turns out, regardless of our culture or where we live, we are pretty go........ Read more »

Bryant, G., Fessler, D., Fusaroli, R., Clint, E., Aarøe, L., Apicella, C., Petersen, M., Bickham, S., Bolyanatz, A., Chavez, B.... (2016) Detecting affiliation in colaughter across 24 societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(17), 4682-4687. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1524993113  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 171 views

Osteo- Are- We Educated about OA and PTOA?

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Athletic trainers are familiar with osteoarthritis, but less familiar with posttraumatic osteoarthritis. This knowledge seems to come with years of experience in the field. ... Read more »

Pietrosimone BG, Blackburn JT, Golightly YM, Harkey MS, Luc BA, DeFreese JD, Padua DA, Jordan JM, & Bennell KL. (2016) Certified Athletic Trainers' Knowledge and Perceptions of Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis After Knee Injury. Journal of Athletic Training. PMID: 27145097  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 03:48 AM
  • 92 views

10,000 hours debunked again? In elite sport, amount of practice does not explain who performs best

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In elite sport, what distinguishes the best from the also rans? A new meta-analysis in Perspectives on Psychological Science looks at all the relevant data to see whether the most important factor is an athlete's amount of accumulated "deliberate practice" – that is, practice that's designed, through feedback and other methods, to improve performance. In fact, the new analysis shows that differences in amount of practice do not explain performance levels among elite athletes. At sub-........ Read more »

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