Vitamin D - the sunshine vitamin/hormone - is seemingly everywhere these days in research terms. At the time of writing this post we have news that vitamin D might cut the risk of severe asthma attacks if taken alongside prescribed asthma medication. The week before that it was the suggestion that vitamin D might be part of the explanation as to why childhood learning difficulties were more commonly found in children conceived during the winter months. Vitamin D is seemingly shouldering quite a ........ Read more »
Chen, J., Xin, K., Wei, J., Zhang, K., & Xiao, H. (2016) Lower maternal serum 25(OH) D in first trimester associated with higher autism risk in Chinese offspring. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 98-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.08.013
A new study compares a harness to a neck collar and finds both are good for canine welfare.Milo. Photo: Sabrina MignaccaHarnesses are often said to be better for your dog than walking on a collar, but no one had investigated it. Now, a team of scientists at Hartpury College (Grainger, Wills & Montrose 2016) has published a study of the effects of walking a dog on a harness and on a neck collar.The same dogs were walked on a neck collar and on a harness on separate occasions, and their behavi........ Read more »
Grainger, J., Wills, A., & Montrose, V. (2016) The behavioral effects of walking on a collar and harness in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 60-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2016.06.002
Typically when scientists make a measurement, they know exactly what kind of measurement they're making, and their purpose is to obtain a measurement outcome. But in an "unrecorded measurement," both the type of measurement and the measurement outcome are unknown.
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Depression is a common feature following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Post-TBI depression may be difficult to treat and evolve into a chronic depression syndrome.A recent published study demonstrates that prophylactic SSRI antidepressant treatment may reduce the incidence of depression following TBI.This study was conducted by investigators affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa.Ninety four subjects were recruited to this randomized........ Read more »
Jorge RE, Acion L, Burin DI, & Robinson RG. (2016) Sertraline for Preventing Mood Disorders Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27626622
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
It’s time again for a combination post of things that didn’t make the cut for a full post but that we thought interesting (or odd) enough to want to share with you. We hope you enjoy this latest collection of factoids that will make you memorable when (and if) you re-share them. Hot, hot, hot: […]
Tattoos as a restorative act (for college-aged women anyway)
Can you assess juror morality by counting tattoos?
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”
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Noelke, C., McGovern, M., Corsi, D., Jimenez, M., Stern, A., Wing, I., & Berkman, L. (2016) Increasing ambient temperature reduces emotional well-being. Environmental Research, 124-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.06.045
"Constipation and dyspepsia are disturbing gastrointestinal symptoms that are often ignored in research on physical comorbidities of schizophrenia."Go on."The prevalence of constipation was 31.3%, and of dyspepsia 23.6%."So said the findings reported by Tomi Virtanen and colleagues  who assessed "dyspepsia and constipation in a sample of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum psychoses." Alongside the general practitioner assessment of such functional bowel complaints, researchers also ........ Read more »
Virtanen T, Eskelinen S, Sailas E, & Suvisaari J. (2016) Dyspepsia and constipation in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Nordic journal of psychiatry, 1-7. PMID: 27564411
When analyzing virus metagenomic data, we often find it helpful to identify...... Read more »
Minot, S., Sinha, R., Chen, J., Li, H., Keilbaugh, S., Wu, G., Lewis, J., & Bushman, F. (2011) The human gut virome: Inter-individual variation and dynamic response to diet. Genome Research, 21(10), 1616-1625. DOI: 10.1101/gr.122705.111
Scientists trying to find ways to regenerate a damaged heart have shed more light on the molecular mechanisms that could one day make this a reality. Whilst other organs such as the liver can regenerate, the heart muscle has very little ability to do so after suffering damage, such as a heart attack.
In the womb the body is able to produce heart muscle cells but soon after birth it effectively stops producing them.... Read more »
Mazzotta, S., Neves, C., Bonner, R., Bernardo, A., Docherty, K., & Hoppler, S. (2016) Distinctive Roles of Canonical and Noncanonical Wnt Signaling in Human Embryonic Cardiomyocyte Development. Stem Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.08.008
New theories in ocean circulation and acidification, shorter sea ice season in polar bear habitats, and new tools to track bird migrations and hair protein analysis in forensic IDs. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »
Klockmann, M., Mikolajewicz, U., & Marotzke, J. (2016) The effect of greenhouse gas concentrations and ice sheets on the glacial AMOC in a coupled climate model. Climate of the Past, 12(9), 1829-1846. DOI: 10.5194/cp-12-1829-2016
Sutton, A., Sabine, C., Feely, R., Cai, W., Cronin, M., McPhaden, M., Morell, J., Newton, J., Noh, J., Ólafsdóttir, S.... (2016) Using present-day observations to detect when anthropogenic change forces surface ocean carbonate chemistry outside preindustrial bounds. Biogeosciences, 13(17), 5065-5083. DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-5065-2016
Shamoun-Baranes, J., Farnsworth, A., Aelterman, B., Alves, J., Azijn, K., Bernstein, G., Branco, S., Desmet, P., Dokter, A., Horton, K.... (2016) Innovative Visualizations Shed Light on Avian Nocturnal Migration. PLOS ONE, 11(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160106
Parker, G., Leppert, T., Anex, D., Hilmer, J., Matsunami, N., Baird, L., Stevens, J., Parsawar, K., Durbin-Johnson, B., Rocke, D.... (2016) Demonstration of Protein-Based Human Identification Using the Hair Shaft Proteome. PLOS ONE, 11(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160653
According to new research, widespread adoption of genetically modified crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant. This is the largest study of genetically modified crops and pesticide use to date. The team of economists studied annual data from more than 5,000 soybean and 5,000 maize farmers in the U.S. from 1998 to 2011, far exceeding previous studies that have been limited to one or two years of data.
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Perry, E., Ciliberto, F., Hennessy, D., & Moschini, G. (2016) Genetically engineered crops and pesticide use in U.S. maize and soybeans. Science Advances, 2(8). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600850
"This large nationwide registry linkage study confirms that the clinical picture in CFS/ME [chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis] is complex."That sentence, taken from the paper by Inger Bakken and colleagues  (open-access available here), is perhaps the under-statement of the year as authors sought to "describe comorbidities diagnosed in primary care in children diagnosed with CFS/ME in specialist health care" and "describe the timing of the diagnoses from prim........ Read more »
Bakken IJ, Tveito K, Aaberg KM, Ghaderi S, Gunnes N, Trogstad L, Magnus P, Stoltenberg C, & Håberg SE. (2016) Comorbidities treated in primary care in children with chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis: A nationwide registry linkage study from Norway. BMC family practice, 17(1), 128. PMID: 27590471
Even if the benefits of retrieval practice were limited to improvements in recall (as prior research has demonstrated), such improvements do not stand in the way of improvements to higher-order reasoning, such as inference-making. (And shaping the path for students, such as improving informational contiguity can have a positive effect too.)... Read more »
A trio of researchers has found off-the-shelf AI software can be used to identify people in blurred or pixilated images. The researchers have uploaded a paper describing the experiments they carried out with AI software identification of people or other items in blurred out images, what they found and reveal just how accurate they found it could be.
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My Twitter post on a recently published study of brain structure in a group of high performing older adults received quite a bit of attention (see below).Felicia Sun and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School selected an interesting research design.A group of elderly subjects between the ages of 60 and 80 years were identified as showing "superaging". This was defined as scoring like young adults on two neuropsychological tests: The Long Delay Free Recall measure........ Read more »
Sun FW, Stepanovic MR, Andreano J, Barrett LF, Touroutoglou A, & Dickerson BC. (2016) Youthful Brains in Older Adults: Preserved Neuroanatomy in the Default Mode and Salience Networks Contributes to Youthful Memory in Superaging. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(37), 9659-9668. PMID: 27629716
by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s more than time to bring a fern as a Friday Fellow, and I decided to start with one of my favorites, the Neotropical tree fern Dicksonia sellowiana, known in Brazil as Samambaiaçu or Xaxim. The samambaiaçu … Continue reading →... Read more »
Schmitt, J., Schneider, P., & Windisch, P. (2009) Crescimento do cáudice e fenologia de Dicksonia sellowiana Hook. (Dicksoniaceae) no sul do Brasil. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 23(1), 283-291. DOI: 10.1590/S0102-33062009000100030
Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome is caused by germline mutations in the FLCN gene and characterized by skin fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) and renal cancer. Because sudden changes in air pressure can increase the chances of developing a collapsed lung, a concern many BHD patients have is whether it is safe to air travel and scuba dive, or whether this increases the chances of a pneumothorax. In a new study, Johannesma et al. (2016) evaluate the incidence ........ Read more »
Johannesma, P., van de Beek, I., van der Wel, J., Paul, M., Houweling, A., Jonker, M., van Waesberghe, J., Reinhard, R., Starink, T., van Moorselaar, R.... (2016) Risk of spontaneous pneumothorax due to air travel and diving in patients with Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome. SpringerPlus, 5(1). DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-3009-4
"Anxiety disorders significantly increased mortality risk. Comorbidity of anxiety disorders and depression played an important part in the increased mortality."So said the findings reported by Sandra Meier and colleagues  looking to assess any relationship between the presence of an anxiety disorder and mortality risk. Based on data from one of those oh-so-useful Scandinavian population registries (Denmark this time), researchers reported that: "The risk of death by natural and unnatural........ Read more »
Meier SM, Mattheisen M, Mors O, Mortensen PB, Laursen TM, & Penninx BW. (2016) Increased mortality among people with anxiety disorders: total population study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27388572
by Piter Kehoma Boll You probably have heard of bacteria (and archaeans) that live in extreme environments on Earth, such as hot springs or lakes with high salinity, where most lifeforms would die horribly in a few seconds. We usually … Continue reading →... Read more »
Savage, A., Hills, J., Driscoll, K., Fergus, D., Grunden, A., & Dunn, R. (2016) Microbial diversity of extreme habitats in human homes. PeerJ. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2376
As you relax and let your mind drift aimlessly, you might remember a pleasant vacation, an angry confrontation in traffic or maybe the loss of a loved one. And now a team of researchers say they can see those various emotional states flickering across the human brain.
... Read more »
Kragel, P., & LaBar, K. (2015) Multivariate neural biomarkers of emotional states are categorically distinct. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(11), 1437-1448. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv032
Para and super? The Olympics are over. They’ve brought us some good stories, some nice records, and (self-citation alert!) a humble blog post about the ethics of doping. But the Paralympics, their less mediatized cousin, are in full swing. Paralympians from all over the world gather to wow us with their athletic prowess in the Paralympic […]... Read more »
Swartz, L., & Watermeyer, B. (2008) Cyborg anxiety: Oscar Pistorius and the boundaries of what it means to be human. Disability , 23(2), 187-190. DOI: 10.1080/09687590701841232
Howe, P. (2011) Cyborg and Supercrip: The Paralympics Technology and the (Dis)empowerment of Disabled Athletes. Sociology, 45(5), 868-882. DOI: 10.1177/0038038511413421
Smith, L. (2014) The Blade Runner: The Discourses Surrounding Oscar Pistorius in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Communication , 3(4), 390-410. DOI: 10.1177/2167479513519979
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