Post List

  • January 13, 2015
  • 07:44 PM
  • 40 views

Questioning oxytocin research

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

“You may have heard of oxytocin as the “moral molecule” or the “hug hormone” or the “cuddle chemical”. Unleashed by hugs, available in a handy nasal spray, and possessed with the ability to boost trust, empathy and a laundry list of virtues, it is apparently the cure to all the world’s social ills. Except it’s […]... Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 02:07 PM
  • 109 views

Genetic brain disorders start at the synapse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As we’ve seen from research featured here at the lab, there are many genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability and autism. Historically, these were viewed as untreatable. However, in recent years we have shown via animal models that it is possible to reverse the effects of these gene mutations. But the question remained whether different gene mutations disrupt common physiological processes. If this were the case, a treatment developed for one genetic cause of autism and intellectua........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 02:01 PM
  • 83 views

Publishing to Keep up with Ebola

by Roli Roberts in PLOS Biologue

As you read this, thread-like viruses less than one micron in length are spreading through human populations in West Africa, taking lives, wrecking communities and generally creating havoc in the countries affected. Infection with the Ebola virus results in an … Continue reading »The post Publishing to Keep up with Ebola appeared first on PLOS Biologue.... Read more »

Drake JM, Kaul RB, Alexander LW, O’Regan SM, Kramer AM, Pulliam JT, Ferrari MJ, Park AW. (2015) Ebola Cases and Health System Demand in Liberia. PLoS Biology, 13(1). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002056

  • January 13, 2015
  • 11:30 AM
  • 141 views

Bees Drink with Expandable Mop Tongues

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



A perennially fascinating question to scientists is how animals get liquids into their faces without cups, straws or hands. In recent years they've cracked the puzzle in dogs and cats, two creatures that often do their noisy drinking near us. Bees, too, sip nectar in plain sight of humans. But their methods are more subtle and mysterious.

Shaoze Yan, a mechanical engineering professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues took a very close look at Italian honeybees ... Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 104 views

Delicate Arteries Of Energy

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

As dependent on electricity as America is, it is surprising how easily it could be taken away. Do you know how electricity comes to your house? Here is the national electrical grid easily explained and the points at which it can be vulnerable to sun, weather, and terrorism.... Read more »

Paul W. Parfomak. (2014) Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations . Congressional Research Service Reports. info:/

  • January 13, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 106 views

Not All Are Buried Here: Selective Burial in Prehistoric Spain

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Interpreting cemeteries in order to understand the living population is a dangerous and difficult task. On the one hand, cemeteries are really our only form of information about the actual […]... Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 06:04 AM
  • 93 views

People may be happier when their neighbourhood fits their personality

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Levels of trait "openness to experience"are higher in central London than otherareas of the city. Image from PNAS. It is surely easier to be happy in some neighbourhoods than others. But a new study suggests one size does not fit all. Based on data from 56,000 Londoners collected by a BBC initiative, Markus Jokela and his colleagues report that the correlations between different personality dimensions and life satisfaction vary across the capital. The researchers say this shows "finding the........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2015
  • 04:58 AM
  • 100 views

Autism diagnosis as a predictor of slow colonic transit

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues [1] suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by mea........ Read more »

Ridha Z, Quinn R, & Croaker GD. (2014) Predictors of slow colonic transit in children. Pediatric surgery international. PMID: 25549892  

  • January 13, 2015
  • 02:46 AM
  • 113 views

How do viruses work in making us smart?

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Viruses are important in making us smarter by improving the basic functions of the brain, especially the regulation of gene expressions.

Published in:

Cell Reports

Study Further:

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have found that millions of year’s old inherited viruses can have special impact on the development of complex networks in the brain of human beings.

Previously, it was clear that endogenous retroviruses make nearly 5% of DNA of human beings,........ Read more »

Fasching, L., Kapopoulou, A., Sachdeva, R., Petri, R., Jönsson, M., Männe, C., Turelli, P., Jern, P., Cammas, F., Trono, D.... (2015) TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells. Cell Reports, 10(1), 20-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.004  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:30 PM
  • 108 views

Cataloging a year of blogging: the philosophical turn

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Passion and motivation are strange and confusing facets of being. Many things about them feel paradoxical. For example, I really enjoy writing, categorizing, and — obviously, if you’ve read many of the introductory paragraphs on TheEGG — blabbing on far too long about myself. So you’d expect that I would have been extremely motivated to […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. arXiv: 1405.0041v1

  • January 12, 2015
  • 08:26 PM
  • 97 views

Volcanic eruptions partially explain global warming hiatus

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The well-known global warming hiatus since 2000 has been partially explained by recent data from satellite measurements showing that sulfate emissions from volcanic eruptions is reflecting incoming sunlight.... Read more »

Santer, B., Solomon, S., Bonfils, C., Zelinka, M., Painter, J., Beltran, F., Fyfe, J., Johannesson, G., Mears, C., Ridley, D.... (2014) Observed multi-variable signals of late 20th and early 21st century volcanic activity. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062366  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 05:08 PM
  • 107 views

Study shows rise in mass die-offs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You really don’t hear much about mass die-offs from mainstream news outlets; this might make you think they don’t happen that often. However, an analysis of 727 mass die-offs of nearly 2,500 animal species from the past 70 years has found that such events are increasing among birds, fish, and marine invertebrates. At the same time, the number of individuals killed appears to be decreasing for reptiles and amphibians, and is unchanged for mammals.... Read more »

Samuel B. Fey, Adam M. Siepielski, Sébastien Nusslé, Kristina Cervantes-Yoshida, Jason L. Hwan, Eric R. Huber, Maxfield J. Fey, Alessandro Catenazzi, & Stephanie M. Carlson. (2015) Recent shifts in the occurrence, cause, and magnitude of animal mass mortality events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1414894112

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:56 AM
  • 104 views

Dietary Grains and Heart/Stroke Mortality

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Dietary intake of whole grains and fiber shows consistent beneficial effects on a variety of health and mortality measures.In a post in 2011, I reviewed study results from the NIH-AARP cohort. That study reported reduced cardiovascular disease but not cancer in men and women with the highest fiber intake.A recent Harvard University study examined mortality risk in a group of U.S. health professionals grouped by level of whole grain intake.Participants in this study were over 118,000 men and wome........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 10:24 AM
  • 109 views

Collective Personality and Our Environment

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

We are all familiar with the concept of the personality of an individual. We are less familiar with group- or collective personalities (although most teachers can tell you at length about the personalities of each of their classes). The concept is the same: whereas an individual personality relates to an individual’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts, a collective personality relates to a group’s consistent behaviors across time and contexts. Collective personalities can be stron........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 09:44 AM
  • 73 views

Psychologists and psychiatrists feel less empathy for patients when their problems are explained biologically

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The idea that mental illness is related to brain abnormalities or other biological factors is popular among some patients; they say it demystifies their experiences and lends legitimacy to their symptoms. However, studies show that biological explanations can increase mental health stigma, encouraging the public perception that people with mental illness are essentially different, and that their problems are permanent. Now Matthew Lebowitz and Woo-young Ahn have published new evidence that sugge........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 42 views

Let that bad mood go, for the good of your health

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but will a bad mood a day bring the doctor running? Perhaps, but it may depend on what your culture thinks about bad moods.... Read more »

Curhan KB, Sims T, Markus HR, Kitayama S, Karasawa M, Kawakami N, Love GD, Coe CL, Miyamoto Y, & Ryff CD. (2014) Just how bad negative affect is for your health depends on culture. Psychological science, 25(12), 2277-80. PMID: 25304884  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 107 views

More sex, more UTIs: how timing affects your risk of bladder infection

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

“Pee after sex” is perhaps one of the most memorable pieces of advice I’ve picked up in conversations with female friends over the years. The theory is that peeing right after sex will help to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your body during sex and prevent them from infecting your urinary tract.... Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 05:14 AM
  • 140 views

Why do some people see ghosts?

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

For most people ghosts and spirits are part of the imaginary, but a few are truly convinced they can sometimes feel a strange presence near them. These individuals are not experiencing a paranormal phenomenon—they’re having an illusion. Schizophrenics, for instance, consistently report hearing voices or feeling someone—a ‘shadow’ or a ‘man’—close to them. Scientists have long known that illusions have a neurological cause, but they haven’t managed to pinpoint exactly ........ Read more »

Blanke Olaf, Masayuki Hara, Lukas Heydrich, Andrea Serino, Akio Yamamoto, Toshiro Higuchi, Roy Salomon, Margitta Seeck, Theodor Landis, & Shahar Arzy. (2014) Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction of an Apparition. Current Biology, 24(22), 2681-2686. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.049  

  • January 12, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 122 views

Ritual circumcision and risk of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "We confirmed our hypothesis that boys who undergo ritual circumcision may run a greater risk of developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder].""Objetos dispersos" de Xulio Formoso 2008That was the rather surprising finding reported by Morten Frisch & Jacob Simonsen [1] (open-access) following their register-based cohort study based in Denmark. Some of the media following this paper can be seen here.I'll be honest with you and say that my brow furrowed somewhat upon f........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 03:21 AM
  • 102 views

Citations of Excellence Awards 2014

by Andreas Wieland in Supply Chain Management Research

Like every year (see my previous post), Emerald rewards authors of exceptional papers covered in its extensive Emerald Management Reviews database with a Citation of Excellence Award (full list). I went through the latest list of the Citations of Excellence Top 50 papers. This time, the list contains at least two papers from related disciplines […]... Read more »

Locke, R., Qin, F., & Brause, A. (2007) Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61(1), 3-31. info:/

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