Post List

  • April 1, 2016
  • 04:22 AM
  • 230 views

Meta-meta-analysing MTHFR and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In conclusion, [the] present meta-analysis strongly suggested a significant association of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism with autism."So said the findings reported by Vandana Rai [1] as yet more discussion emerges on the possible role of issues with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in relation to at least some autism. The reason I've titled this post as a 'meta-meta-analysis' is because we've previously seen meta-analysis done on this polymorphism (SNP) in rela........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 05:14 PM
  • 287 views

Limitless: How long-term memories are erased and how to stop it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Currently, neuroscientists think our brain has about enough storage space to hold the entire internet. That’s a lot of space, about a petabyte in fact — if we are to believe this estimate. So, what did you read in the news this day 5 years ago? Don’t worry, I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning and my long-term memory doesn’t fair much better. However, vital information about how the brain erases long-term memories has been uncovered by researchers.

... Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 04:20 PM
  • 256 views

The even newer CDC autism prevalence rate

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"For 2012, the combined estimated prevalence of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] among the 11 ADDM [Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring] Network sites was 14.6 per 1,000 (one in 68) children aged 8 years."So said the report by Deborah Christensen and colleagues [1] continuing a research theme as the CDC map the estimated prevalence of autism in the United States over the years (see here and see here). This time around, as last time covering 2010, the figure se........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 11:28 AM
  • 268 views

Reproducibility in research results: the challenges of attributing reliability

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Recently projects have been developed with the aim to reproduce published research results in psychology, biology and economics to verify their reliability. The results indicate different degrees of reproducibility in each area, however, they served to alert the scientific community about how fragile results considered irrefutable can be and reflect on the role of science in self-correcting. … Read More →... Read more »

Anderson, C., Bahnik, �., Barnett-Cowan, M., Bosco, F., Chandler, J., Chartier, C., Cheung, F., Christopherson, C., Cordes, A., Cremata, E.... (2016) Response to Comment on "Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science". Science, 351(6277), 1037-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9163  

Allison, D., Brown, A., George, B., & Kaiser, K. (2016) Reproducibility: A tragedy of errors. Nature, 530(7588), 27-29. DOI: 10.1038/530027a  

Camerer, C., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Almenberg, J., Altmejd, A., Chan, T.... (2016) Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science, 351(6280), 1433-1436. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0918  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 11:08 AM
  • 205 views

The p-value Debate Has Reached SCM Research

by Andreas Wieland in Supply Chain Management Research

We should not ignore that researchers – in general but also in supply chain management – are not always as properly trained to perform data analysis as they should be. A highly visible discussion is currently going on regarding the prevalent misuses of p-values. For example, too often research has been considered as “good” research, […]... Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 10:40 AM
  • 261 views

Extracting goo from corpses to better understand them

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It's goo week here at Rosin Cerate. So far we've looked at forms of natural springtime goo. For today's post, it's on to a much darker and less life-affirming goo. We're going to take a peek at the viscous fluids you can extract from a corpse to determine where/when/how it became a corpse and other useful forensic information.... Read more »

Deking J, Hargrove VM, & Molina DK. (2014) Synovial fluid: An alternative toxicologic specimen?. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 35(2), 154-6. PMID: 24781403  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 05:36 AM
  • 264 views

Thoughts on pre- vs. post-publication peer-review

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

A few months ago, we published a paper that spent four years in peer-review (story behind the paper). Because of this, I feel entitled to an opinion on the pre- vs post-publication review debate.

Background on preprints and their effect on peer-review

If you have been living under a rock, or if you are not on Twitter, you may not have noticed that preprints are becoming more widely accepted in biology—supported by initiatives such as Haldane’s Sieve and bioRxiv. This is particularly tr........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2016
  • 04:46 AM
  • 222 views

Sleep Doctoring: Fatigue Amnesia in Physicians

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

New in the journal journal Cortex: four shocking cases of practicing medicine while exhausted  (Dharia & Zeman, 2016). The authors called this newly discovered syndrome “fatigue amnesia.” Why this is is any different from countless other examples of not remembering things you did while exhausted — I do not know. Except amnesia for performing a complex medical procedure is a lot more disturbing than forgetting you did the dishes the night before.Here are the cases in brief:Case 1:&........ Read more »

Dharia, S., & Zeman, A. (2016) Fatigue amnesia. Cortex. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.03.001  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 04:23 AM
  • 245 views

Substance use disorder and autism: a case report

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Minus any sweeping generalisations, I want to bring your attention to the recent paper by Ashy Rengit and colleagues [1] today, continuing a theme of case reports discussing autism co-occurring with a substance use disorder (SUD). A SUD is generally defined as where the use of one or more substances (drugs) with psychoactive properties leads to significant impairment or distress for a person. Although some people might envisage the use of illicit drugs as being the only way to receivin........ Read more »

Rengit AC, McKowen JW, O'Brien J, Howe YJ, & McDougle CJ. (2016) Brief Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Substance Use Disorder: A Review and Case Study. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26944591  

  • March 31, 2016
  • 02:00 AM
  • 205 views

Mutation-bias driving the evolution of mutation rates

by Julian Xue in Evolutionary Games Group

In classic game theory, we are often faced with multiple potential equilibria between which to select with no unequivocal way to choose between these alternatives. If you’ve ever heard Artem justify dynamic approaches, such as evolutionary game theory, then you’ve seen this equilibrium selection problem take center stage. Natural selection has an analogous ‘problem’ of […]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 05:11 PM
  • 288 views

What is a good death?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Food for the worms, a dirt nap, kicking the bucket, maybe there are so many euphemisms for death because it is still a taboo in certain cultures. Not so fun fact, my Uncle committed suicide some years back. I’m not going to go into details, but because suicide is looked down on, was his death still considered a “good death”? Trying to qualitatively and quantitatively define a good death, researchers have published a new paper offering help in defining the idea of a good death and have ulti........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 09:38 AM
  • 264 views

You'll get over it, you're probably better at managing guilt and shame than you think

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A recurring finding in psychology is that people tend to overestimate the strength of their future emotions, an error known as the "intensity bias". You imagine that failing your driving test will leave you in the depths of despair, for example, but actually when it happens, you don't really feel too bad – the examiner was mean, you were feeling tired, and anyway you've still got your mate's party to look forward to next weekend. In other words, the reason you overestimated the emotional impac........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 09:36 AM
  • 213 views

Video Tip of the Week: EDA, Experimental Design Assistant

by Mary in OpenHelix

Most of the bioinformatics tools we examine are things that come into play downstream of an experiment. People wish to analyze their data, look at genes that popped up (or dropped down), visualize relationships, etc. So this week’s Video Tip tool is unusual–it’s software that helps people design the upstream pieces of their experiments. Experimental […]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 08:30 AM
  • 309 views

Lions And Tigers and Ligers, Oh My!

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Thankfully, “stick to your own kind” is not something that animals always consider. Ligers, tigons, even wolphins (false killer whales mate with a dolphin) are all amazing exceptions. These example aren’t new species because they are often sterile of the wrong size- ligers are often too big to deliver. However, there are rare times when a new species can emerge from hybridizations. The Lornicera fly was a wild hybrid between the snowberry bush and blueberry bush flies, but sinc........ Read more »

Jesús Mavárez1, Camilo A. Salazar, Eldredge Bermingham1, Christian Salcedo, Chris D. Jiggins . (2006) Speciation by hybridization in Heliconius butterflies. Nature, 868-871. DOI: 10.1038/nature04738  

  • March 30, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 183 views

Pay Now, or Pay Later…ACL Reconstruction Costs are Similar Whether Early or Delayed

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

An early anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction fails to provide improved quality-of-life years and costs compared with people who are provided an optional delayed reconstruction treatment strategy. ... Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 03:19 AM
  • 285 views

The real problem with linguistic shirkers

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Germany has discovered a new social type that is causing grieve in modern diverse societies: the “Integrationsverweigerer;” literally someone who...... Read more »

  • March 30, 2016
  • 03:06 AM
  • 256 views

Bisphenol A (BPA) and autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Descriptive analyses indicated that prenatal exposure to maternal BPA [Bisphenol A] concentrations were related to higher levels of anxiety, depression, aggression, and hyperactivity in children. BPA exposure in childhood was associated with higher levels of anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inattention, and conduct problems."That was the conclusion reached in the systematic review by Maede Ejaredar and colleagues [1], that provides one of two studies brought to the blogging ta........ Read more »

Ejaredar M, Lee Y, Roberts DJ, Sauve R, & Dewey D. (2016) Bisphenol A exposure and children's behavior: A systematic review. Journal of exposure science . PMID: 26956939  

Kondolot, M., Ozmert, E., Ascı, A., Erkekoglu, P., Oztop, D., Gumus, H., Kocer-Gumusel, B., & Yurdakok, K. (2016) Plasma Phthalate and Bisphenol A Levels and Oxidant-Antioxidant Status in Autistic Children. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2016.03.006  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 04:31 PM
  • 267 views

Carb-loading and your heart, you may want to put the pasta down…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

So if you are one of the bodybuilders, powerlifters, marathon runners, or just people who like to binge-eat every now and then — no judgment all you can eat pizza day is a thing I’m told telling myself — there is some bad news. If you like to preload carbs like they are the magic bullet to your workout woes, you may want to rethink it because according to a new study, it can have an acute and detrimental effect on heart function.

... Read more »

Arora, P., Wu, C., Hamid, T., Arora, G., Agha, O., Allen, K., Tainsh, R., Hu, D., Ryan, R., Domian, I.... (2016) Acute Metabolic Influences on the Natriuretic Peptide System in Humans. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 67(7), 804-812. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.049  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 12:38 PM
  • 288 views

These Birds Learn to Recognize Humans They Hate

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish





Antarctic seabirds called skuas are so clever that they can recognize individual humans after seeing them only a few times. Some Korean researchers discovered this by messing with the birds' nests and then waiting to get attacked. They're either very brave or have never watched The Birds.

The study took place on Antarctica's King George Island. The animals here didn't evolve around humans. People have only been making appearances on the island since the 1950s or so. Today 10 countr........ Read more »

Lee, W., Han, Y., Lee, S., Jablonski, P., Jung, J., & Kim, J. (2016) Antarctic skuas recognize individual humans. Animal Cognition. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-016-0970-9  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 11:30 AM
  • 293 views

Do you wanna be in my clan? Moralising gods encourage long-distance sharing with co-religionists

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Most gods that have been invented don’t give a damn about what us mortals get up to. Researchers think that  belief in the few that do, the ones that can be thought of as moralising gods, might have a significant effect on behaviour. For example, more complex societies are more likely to believe in moralising [Read More...]... Read more »

Purzycki, B., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Cohen, E., McNamara, R., Willard, A., Xygalatas, D., Norenzayan, A., & Henrich, J. (2016) Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature16980  

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