The CHDI Foundation, a charitable organization who fund a lot of research into Huntington's disease, are interested in reforming the scientific process.
The story comes from a paper written by British neuroscientist Marcus Munafo and colleagues (the authors including CHDI staff) published in Nature Biotechnology a couple of months ago: Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
Munafo et al. begin by pointing to the history of car manufacturing as an analogy for the scie... Read more »
Munafo M, Noble S, Browne WJ, Brunner D, Button K, Ferreira J, Holmans P, Langbehn D, Lewis G, Lindquist M.... (2014) Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Nature Biotechnology, 32(9), 871-3. PMID: 25203032
I'm not normally minded to post on a Sunday (day of rest and all that) but I did want to bring your attention to the results presented by Petroc Sumner and colleagues  (open-access) concluding that: "Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases" when it comes to the media reporting of [some] health-related science news.The idea behind this particular study - which has been summarised pretty well in some of the accompanying media and in an editorial........ Read more »
Sumner, P., Vivian-Griffiths, S., Boivin, J., Williams, A., Venetis, C., Davies, A., Ogden, J., Whelan, L., Hughes, B., Dalton, B.... (2014) The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study. BMJ, 349(dec09 7). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g7015
The stomach strikes again, or so it seems. We’ve already covered how your stomach seemingly controls your brain and your blood-brain barrier, but now it seems that what you eat –not too indirectly related to your stomach– might make you fatter, but not in the way you might be thinking thinking. What you are eating may be causing inflammation in the brain.... Read more »
Valdearcos, M., Robblee, M., Benjamin, D., Nomura, D., Xu, A., & Koliwad, S. (2014) Microglia Dictate the Impact of Saturated Fat Consumption on Hypothalamic Inflammation and Neuronal Function. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.11.018
I feel like a broken record when I say that we continue to lack an evidence base for most “alternative” forms of support for eating disorders. As I’ve noted in prior posts, just because something is not evidence based does not mean it does not work for anyone; often, an evidence base is established when researchers can secure enough funding to run a randomized-controlled trial (RCT) that would act as evidence.
... Read more »
Perez M, Van Diest AK, & Cutts S. (2014) Preliminary examination of a mentor-based program for eating disorders. Journal of eating disorders, 2(1), 24. PMID: 25426293
In the days shortly after giving birth, most mothers experience a period of increased calmness and decreased stress responses, but around 20% of mothers experience anxiety. Some women may become depressed, and around one in a thousand can develop psychosis. The latest evidence indicates that these distressing responses to motherhood are still poorly understood, but that animal research could provide valuable clues to their causes.
Writing in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Dr David Slatt........ Read more »
Perani, C., & Slattery, D. (2014) Using animal models to study post-partum psychiatric disorders. British Journal of Pharmacology, 171(20), 4539-4555. DOI: 10.1111/bph.12640
by Sandra Bosshard in genome ecology evolution etc
Gibbons (Hylobatidae) are small arboreal apes that form a key node in primate evolution. One of the most distinctive phenotype is their high genome plasticity involving large-scale chromosomal rearrangements and karyotype changes. The four gibbon genera (Nomascus, Hylobates, Hoolock, Symphalangus) … Continue reading →... Read more »
Carbone, L., Alan Harris, R., Gnerre, S., Veeramah, K., Lorente-Galdos, B., Huddleston, J., Meyer, T., Herrero, J., Roos, C., Aken, B.... (2014) Gibbon genome and the fast karyotype evolution of small apes. Nature, 513(7517), 195-201. DOI: 10.1038/nature13679
Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues  (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in partic........ Read more »
Swineford, L., Thurm, A., Baird, G., Wetherby, A., & Swedo, S. (2014) Social (pragmatic) communication disorder: a research review of this new DSM-5 diagnostic category. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 6(1), 41. DOI: 10.1186/1866-1955-6-41
Use of Toning or Unstable Shoes to Aid Post Marathon Recovery... Read more »
Nakagawa, K., Obu, T., & Kanosue, K. (2014) Post-marathon wearing of Masai Barefoot Technology shoes facilitates recovery from race-induced fatigue: an evaluation utilizing a visual analog scale. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 267. DOI: 10.2147/OAJSM.S72509
There is a lot of debate over whether or not violent video games manifest in violent behaviour. Consensus has not entirely been reached, but some suggest that the literature provides solid evidence for the hypothesis in question. In this post I examine meta-analytic reviews of the literature and weigh their significance, coming to the conclusion that violent video games most likely do cause aggressive behaviour and other negative social outcomes.... Read more »
Anderson, CA, & Bushman, BJ. (2001) Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, And Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1037/e315012004-001
Anderson CA, Shibuya A, Ihori N, Swing EL, Bushman BJ, Sakamoto A, Rothstein HR, & Saleem M. (2010) Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 136(2), 151-73. PMID: 20192553
Ferguson, C., & Kilburn, J. (2009) The Public Health Risks of Media Violence: A Meta-Analytic Review. The Journal of Pediatrics, 154(5), 759-763. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.11.033
Greitemeyer, T., & Mugge, D. (2014) Video Games Do Affect Social Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Violent and Prosocial Video Game Play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 578-589. DOI: 10.1177/0146167213520459
Huesmann, L. (2010) Nailing the coffin shut on doubts that violent video games stimulate aggression: Comment on Anderson et al. (2010). Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 179-181. DOI: 10.1037/a0018567
by Jill Gallaher in Evolutionary Games Group
After a much needed few weeks of recovery, I’ve found some time to post about our annual IMO workshop held this year on the topic of viruses in cancer. Our group had the challenge of learning about all of the complexities of the human microbiome and its interactions with a cancerous lesion. The human microbiome, […]... Read more »
Human Microbiome Project Consortium. (2012) Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome. Nature, 486(7402), 207-214. DOI: 10.1038/nature11234
Ah, the holiday work party. Free food, spending time with people you spend your whole day with already, and enough boozy libations to make things a bit more interesting. Here in North America, many workplaces engage in the gift “game” called the White Elephant Gift Exchange. On this topic, I'm basing today’s post on an article that I recently came across by Gretchen Herrmann in The Journal of Popular Culture where she dissects the Machiavellian nature of this little holiday game.The White ........ Read more »
M. Herrmann, G. (2013) Machiavelli Meets Christmas: The White Elephant Gift Exchange and the Holiday Spirit. The Journal of Popular Culture, 46(6), 1310-1329. DOI: 10.1111/jpcu.12090
The axon is the part of a neuron that carries outgoing information. (cb = cell body) In neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a genetic mutation leads to widespread neuron damage. When a neuron is damaged, its axon—the part of the neuron that carries outgoing signals—is actively broken down and […]... Read more »
Neukomm L. J., M. A. Gonzalez, S. Zuchner, & M. R. Freeman. (2014) Rapid in vivo forward genetic approach for identifying axon death genes in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(27), 9965-9970. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1406230111
For those of us old enough to remember the days of the Apple II, you know that storage has exponentially increased. Even just 10 years ago 20+ gigs of data seemed huge, now my cellphone has 64 gigs. Yet we still need more data storage and we are looking for new ways to get it. Now a way to use weak molecular bonding interactions to create well-ordered and stable metal–organic monolayers with optoelectronic properties has been found. The development could form the basis for the scalable fabrica........ Read more »
Shimizu, T., Jung, J., Imada, H., & Kim, Y. (2014) Supramolecular Assembly through Interactions between Molecular Dipoles and Alkali Metal Ions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53(50), 13729-13733. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201407555
It's tough to be sperm. Your entire existence centers on one race that you will almost definitely lose. You don't even get to take a warmup lap. Nevertheless, a glance at your competitors waiting at the starting line might give you some hints about who has an advantage. One factor that helps sperm win races is length—and not only for the reasons you might guess.
Long sperm generally have longer tails. This ought to make them faster and more powerful swimmers, which studies have confirmed........ Read more »
Clair Bennison, Nicola Hemmings, Jon Slate, & Tim Birkhead. (2014) Long sperm fertilize more eggs in a bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. info:/10.1098/rspb.2014.1897
Last week, we launched the new patient information pages on the BHD Foundation website. The information has been rewritten with the principles of health literacy in mind, and we hope these will be of greater use to patients and their families. This week’s blog discusses a study which demonstrates the value of providing well-written patient information.
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a paediatric genetic syndrome which causes tumours to form in the brain, eyes, heart, skin, lungs an........ Read more »
Samia P, Donald KA, Schlegel B, & Wilmshurst JM. (2014) Parental Understanding of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 25414235
In 2006, a company called No Lie MRI began advertising their ability to detect "deception and other information stored in the brain" using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They were not the first to make this claim. Two years prior, a company called Cephos had been founded on the same principle. Both companies were launched by entrepreneurs who hoped to one day replace the polygraph machine and its recognized shortcomings with a foolproof approach to lie detection.Within several yea........ Read more »
Farah, M., Hutchinson, J., Phelps, E., & Wagner, A. (2014) Functional MRI-based lie detection: scientific and societal challenges. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3589
We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Do........ Read more »
Jacks, J., & Lancaster, L. (2014) Fit for persuasion: the effects of nonverbal delivery style, message framing, and gender on message effectiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12288
In a recent meta-analytic review, I found that working-class students are less integrated at university than their middle-class peers. I offered up nine potential explanations for this working-class exclusion effect. It turns out that one of the simplest explanations in this list is also the most promising. It’s all to do with age.Working-class students tend to be older than middle-class students. Why? Most likely because they don’t tend to go to university immediately after school but i........ Read more »
Rubin, M., & Wright, C. (2014) Age differences explain social class differences in students’ friendship at university: Implications for transition and retention. Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-014-9844-8
Male Osedax priapus
The entire body of males has evolved as a tool for mating
Osedax is a genus of weird, deep-sea polychaetes worms, commonly known as boneworms, zombie worms, or bone-eating worms.
The story of these creatures began twelve years ago, when researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) first discovered them, using the submarine ROV Tiburon in ... Read more »
Rouse GW, Worsaae K, Johnson SB, Jones WJ, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2008) Acquisition of dwarf male "harems" by recently settled females of Osedax roseus n. sp. (Siboglinidae; Annelida). The Biological bulletin, 214(1), 67-82. PMID: 18258777
Vrijenhoek RC, Johnson SB, & Rouse GW. (2008) Bone-eating Osedax females and their 'harems' of dwarf males are recruited from a common larval pool. Molecular ecology, 17(20), 4535-44. PMID: 18986498
Image credits: bilbypdalgyte.deviantart.com Yes, that’s a thing. According to hospital emergency departments and mortality stats, men are far likelier than women to experience accidental and sporting injuries, as well as...... Read more »
Ben Alexander, Daniel Lendrem, Dennis William Lendrem, Andy Gray, & John Dudley Isaacs. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ, 349. info:/Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem Dennis William Lendrem Andy Gray John Dudley Isaacs
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