Most people remember where they were when the twin towers collapsed in New York ... new research reveals why that may be the case. The study has shed new light on the biological mechanisms that drive the process, known as flashbulb memory.
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Takeuchi, T., Duszkiewicz, A., Sonneborn, A., Spooner, P., Yamasaki, M., Watanabe, M., Smith, C., Fernández, G., Deisseroth, K., Greene, R.... (2016) Locus coeruleus and dopaminergic consolidation of everyday memory. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature19325
Are fertility campaigns the right way to face an ageing population?... Read more »
Jos G.J. Olivier, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Jeroen A.H.W. Peters, & Julian Wilson. (2011) Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions: 2011 report. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, . info:other/978-90-78645-68-9
Tinker A. (2002) The social implications of an ageing population. Introduction. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 123(7), 729-35. PMID: 11869730
Hertel, T. (2015) The challenges of sustainably feeding a growing planet. Food Security, 7(2), 185-198. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0440-2
Bloom DE, Chatterji S, Kowal P, Lloyd-Sherlock P, McKee M, Rechel B, Rosenberg L, & Smith JP. (2015) Macroeconomic implications of population ageing and selected policy responses. Lancet (London, England), 385(9968), 649-57. PMID: 25468167
Hamza, N., & Gilroy, R. (2011) The challenge to UK energy policy: An ageing population perspective on energy saving measures and consumption. Energy Policy, 39(2), 782-789. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.10.052
A CRISPR recipe Less than a month ago, the world’s first official CRISPR/Cas9 meal was served. CRISPR/Cas9 is a fairly new technology to edit genomes, and cut and paste genes at will. Well, it’s not exactly that new. It’s actually been around for a long time. CRISPR, or *humhum* Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats […]... Read more »
Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, & Ricroch AE. (2012) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50(3-4), 1134-48. PMID: 22155268
Panchin AY, & Tuzhikov AI. (2016) Published GMO studies find no evidence of harm when corrected for multiple comparisons. Critical reviews in biotechnology, 1-5. PMID: 26767435
"Metformin may be effective in decreasing weight gain associated with atypical antipsychotic use and is well tolerated by children and adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the paper by Evdokia Anagnostou and colleagues  (open-access) tackling an increasingly important health issue related to the pharmacological 'management' of some aspects of some autism.Metformin is the treatment of choice when it comes to the management of type 2 diabetes (the one where "t........ Read more »
Anagnostou E, Aman MG, Handen BL, Sanders KB, Shui A, Hollway JA, Brian J, Arnold LE, Capano L, Hellings JA.... (2016) Metformin for Treatment of Overweight Induced by Atypical Antipsychotic Medication in Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27556593
The sex of sea turtle offspring is largely dependent on temperature, and global warming could lead to problems where populations are mostly/all female. However, sea turtles have a trick up their sleeve (in their shells?) that may make them more resilient to the effects of global warming than previously thought.... Read more »
Standora, E., & Spotila, J. (1985) Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in Sea Turtles. Copeia, 1985(3), 711. DOI: 10.2307/1444765
Hays, G., Mazaris, A., & Schofield, G. (2014) Different male vs. female breeding periodicity helps mitigate offspring sex ratio skews in sea turtles. Frontiers in Marine Science. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2014.00043
Researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics. One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products.
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Hartmann, E., Hickey, R., Hsu, T., Betancourt Román, C., Chen, J., Schwager, R., Kline, J., Brown, G., Halden, R., Huttenhower, C.... (2016) Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00262
Earlier this summer I posted a review and commentary on a Duke University study of the outcome of children identified as gifted.You can access this post by clicking HERE.Today in Nature News, Tom Clynes publishes a nice review of the history of this topic.He notes there have several large scale studies to examine prospectively children with high academic potential. The cohorts include:Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth-SMPY (Johns Hopkins)Duke University Talent Identification ProgramMunich........ Read more »
Clynes, T. (2016) How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children. Nature, 537(7619), 152-155. DOI: 10.1038/537152a
Scientists find unanticipated results in a study that compares the clicker to a verbal reward-marker and the use of food alone in dog training.The study, by Cinzia Chiandetti (University of Trieste) et al took 51 pet dogs and trained them on a novel task. 17 dogs were trained using a clicker, 17 using a verbal reward marker (“Bravo”), and 17 with only a reward. Then they tested the dogs to see how well they performed when asked to generalize the training to something similar and someth........ Read more »
Chiandetti, C., Avella, S., Fongaro, E., & Cerri, F. (2016) Can clicker training facilitate conditioning in dogs?. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. DOI: http://dx.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.08.006
So you’re telling me that sixteenth century Italian gardeners selected long, thin squashes from among those brought back to Europe from the Americas (actually two different places in the Americas) in conscious imitation of the bottle gourds they had used for centuries? And somehow kept them separate from other cucurbits so that they bred true? […]... Read more »
Lust, T., & Paris, H. (2016) Italian horticultural and culinary records of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae) and emergence of the zucchini in 19th-century Milan. Annals of Botany, 118(1), 53-69. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw080
'Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today' went the press release attached to the findings reported by Kristen Lyall and colleagues  (open-access).Observing that "higher levels of some organochlorine compounds during pregnancy are associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ID [intellectual disability]" the Lyall results once again push environmental factors back into the research spotlight. Indeed, environmental factors that were bann........ Read more »
Lyall K, Croen LA, Sjödin A, Yoshida CK, Zerbo O, Kharrazi M, & Windham GC. (2016) Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Samples: Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Environmental health perspectives. PMID: 27548254
Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Chinese scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat by introducing a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.
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Yang, P., Liu, K., Chen, Q., Mo, X., Zhou, Y., Li, S., Feng, G., & Zhou, J. (2016) Wearable Thermocells Based on Gel Electrolytes for the Utilization of Body Heat. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201606314
The solar corona is a well known site for particle acceleration – examples range from spectacular large flares to the hard-to-observe nanoflares that are now a leading candidate for coronal heating.... Read more »
Prasad Subramanian and Claude Mercier. (2016) High resolution observations of radio noise storms in the solar corona . Astronomy . info:/
Weight loss and maintenance of weight loss is difficult if not nearly impossible for most people.A registry of individuals who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained their weight loss over a year exists in the U.S. This research effort is known as the National Weight Control Registry. It currently has over 10,000.I was looking at some of the published research results from this study. A paper published in 2012 used cluster analysis to identify sub-types of individuals with successful long-te........ Read more »
Ogden, L., Stroebele, N., Wyatt, H., Catenacci, V., Peters, J., Stuht, J., Wing, R., & Hill, J. (2012) Cluster Analysis of the National Weight Control Registry to Identify Distinct Subgroups Maintaining Successful Weight Loss. Obesity, 20(10), 2039-2047. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2012.79
Free beer, made right inside your stomach! This rare condition converts your gut into a brewery, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
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Cordell, B., & McCarthy, J. (2013) A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 04(07), 309-312. DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.47054
Logan BK, & Jones AW. (2000) Endogenous ethanol 'auto-brewery syndrome' as a drunk-driving defence challenge. Medicine, science, and the law, 40(3), 206-15. PMID: 10976182
Electrocardiographic screening is more accurate than patient history or physical examination to screen for potentially fatal cardiac abnormalities among collegiate athletes. ... Read more »
Drezner, J., Owens, D., Prutkin, J., Salerno, J., Harmon, K., Prosise, S., Clark, A., & Asif, I. (2016) Electrocardiographic Screening in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes. The American Journal of Cardiology, 118(5), 754-759. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.06.004
Thanks to Jade Philips (see her on fieldwork below) and Åsmund Asdal, two of the authors, for contributing this post on their recent paper on the conservation of crop wild relatives in Norway. Norway may be an unlikely spot in which to look for agrobiodiversity, but seek and ye shall find. A recent paper discusses […]... Read more »
Phillips, J., Asdal, A., Magos Brehm, J., Rasmussen, M., & Maxted, N. (2016) In situ and ex situ diversity analysis of priority crop wild relatives in Norway. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12470
Although I'm not really one for deep philosophical discussions or anything related (unless linked to a specific galaxy far, far away...), I was recently interested to read the paper by Martine Lappé  talking about how "complex narratives of autism’s causes and social anxieties surrounding child development have helped situate autism risk in women’s bodies before and during pregnancy."I'm as guilty as anyone for discussing the pretty constant stream of peer-reviewed research evidence........ Read more »
Lappe, M. (2016) The maternal body as environment in autism science. Social Studies of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0306312716659372
Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2016 annual conference of the British Association of Applied...... Read more »
With nearly sixty percent of American adults now taking prescription medications--from antidepressants to cholesterol treatments--there is growing concern about how many drugs are flowing through wastewater treatment facilities and into rivers and lakes. Research confirms that pharmaceutical pollution can cause damage to fish and other ecological problems--and may pose risks to human health too.
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Vatovec, C., Phillips, P., Van Wagoner, E., Scott, T., & Furlong, E. (2016) Investigating dynamic sources of pharmaceuticals: Demographic and seasonal use are more important than down-the-drain disposal in wastewater effluent in a University City setting. Science of The Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.199
I'm a fan of scientific replication on this blog. Y'know, when one group comes out with some new marvellous research findings and another [independent] group says 'yep, we found that too'.It is with that sentiment in mind that I'm talking about the results published by Mats Johnson and colleagues  who suggested that "3 months of Omega 3/6 treatment improved reading ability" following a "3-month parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial" with schoolchildren aged 9-10 years o........ Read more »
Johnson M, Fransson G, Östlund S, Areskoug B, & Gillberg C. (2016) Omega 3/6 fatty acids for reading in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 9-year-old mainstream schoolchildren in Sweden. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27545509
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