"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 »
Engel KC, Stökl J, Schweizer R, Vogel H, Ayasse M, Ruther J, & Steiger S. (2016) A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care. Nature communications, 11035. PMID: 27002429
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
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 »
Dong L, Gao M, Hao WJ, Zheng XQ, Li YG, Li XL, & Yu Y. (2016) Case Report of Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome: Germline Mutations of FLCN Detected in Patients With Renal Cancer and Thyroid Cancer. Medicine, 95(22). PMID: 27258496
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
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 »
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 »
Hiroyasu, S., Colburn, Z., & Jones, J. (2016) A hemidesmosomal protein regulates actin dynamics and traction forces in motile keratinocytes. The FASEB Journal, 30(6), 2298-2310. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500160R
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
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 »
Haimovitz K, & Dweck CS. (2016) What Predicts Children's Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents' Views of Intelligence but Their Parents' Views of Failure. Psychological science. PMID: 27113733
"Another reason why pregnant women shouldn’t smoke: schizophrenia" went one media headline reporting on the findings by Solja Niemelä and colleagues  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
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 »
Oudin, A., Bråbäck, L., Åström, D., Strömgren, M., & Forsberg, B. (2016) Association between neighbourhood air pollution concentrations and dispensed medication for psychiatric disorders in a large longitudinal cohort of Swedish children and adolescents. BMJ Open, 6(6). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010004
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 »
Eskelinen HC, Winship KA, Jones BL, Ames AE, & Kuczaj SA 2nd. (2016) Acoustic behavior associated with cooperative task success in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Animal cognition, 19(4), 789-97. PMID: 27022973
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 »
Buttelmann, D., & Tomasello, M. (2012) Can domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) use referential emotional expressions to locate hidden food?. Animal Cognition, 16(1), 137-145. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-012-0560-4
Herron, M., Shofer, F., & Reisner, I. (2009) Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117(1-2), 47-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011
Horowitz, A., Hecht, J., & Dedrick, A. (2013) Smelling more or less: Investigating the olfactory experience of the domestic dog. Learning and Motivation, 44(4), 207-217. DOI: 10.1016/j.lmot.2013.02.002
Howell, T., Toukhsati, S., Conduit, R., & Bennett, P. (2013) The Perceptions of Dog Intelligence and Cognitive Skills (PoDIaCS) Survey. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 8(6), 418-424. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.05.005
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 »
Chong, J., Yu, J., Lorentzen, P., Park, K., Jamal, S., Tabor, H., Rauch, A., Saenz, M., Boltshauser, E., Patterson, K.... (2015) Gene discovery for Mendelian conditions via social networking: de novo variants in KDM1A cause developmental delay and distinctive facial features. Genetics in Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/gim.2015.161
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
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 »
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 […]
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
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
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
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
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 »
Macnamara, B., Moreau, D., & Hambrick, D. (2016) The Relationship Between Deliberate Practice and Performance in Sports: A Meta-Analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(3), 333-350. DOI: 10.1177/1745691616635591
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