“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 »
Christensen, J., Shiyanov, P., Estepp, J., & Schlager, J. (2014) Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Paradigm. PLoS ONE, 9(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116172
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 »
Tian, D., Stoppel, L., Heynen, A., Lindemann, L., Jaeschke, G., Mills, A., & Bear, M. (2015) Contribution of mGluR5 to pathophysiology in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3911
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
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 »
Wu J, Zhu R, Yan S, & Yang Y. (2015) Erection pattern and section-wise wettability of a honeybee's glossal hairs in nectar feeding. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25573821
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:/
Bashan, A., Berezin, Y., Buldyrev, S., & Havlin, S. (2013) The extreme vulnerability of interdependent spatially embedded networks. Nature Physics, 9(10), 667-672. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2727
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 »
Fernández-Crespo, T., & de-la-Rúa, C. (2015) Demographic evidence of selective burial in megalithic graves of northern Spain. Journal of Archaeological Science, 604-617. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.015
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 »
Jokela, M., Bleidorn, W., Lamb, M., Gosling, S., & Rentfrow, P. (2015) Geographically varying associations between personality and life satisfaction in the London metropolitan area. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201415800. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415800112
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  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 »
Viruses are important in making us smarter by improving the basic functions of the brain, especially the regulation of gene expressions.
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
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
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
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
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 »
Wu H, Flint AJ, Qi Q, van Dam RM, Sampson LA, Rimm EB, Holmes MD, Willett WC, Hu FB, & Sun Q. (2015) Association Between Dietary Whole Grain Intake and Risk of Mortality: Two Large Prospective Studies in US Men and Women. JAMA internal medicine. PMID: 25559238
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 »
Modlmeier, A., Forrester, N., & Pruitt, J. (2014) Habitat structure helps guide the emergence of colony-level personality in social spiders. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 68(12), 1965-1972. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-014-1802-z
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 »
Lebowitz, M., & Ahn, W. (2014) Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians’ empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(50), 17786-17790. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414058111
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
“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 »
Schwartz, D., Conover, M., Hannan, T., & Hultgren, S. (2015) Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Superinfection Enhances the Severity of Mouse Bladder Infection. PLoS Pathogens, 11(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004599
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
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  (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 »
Frisch, M., & Simonsen, J. (2015) Ritual circumcision and risk of autism spectrum disorder in 0- to 9-year-old boys: national cohort study in Denmark. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/0141076814565942
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 »
Kim, D., Ferrin, D., & Rao, H. (2008) A Trust-based Consumer Decision-making Model in Electronic Commerce: The Role of Trust, Perceived Risk, and Their Antecedents. Decision Support Systems, 44(2), 544-564. DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2007.07.001
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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