Post List

  • November 16, 2015
  • 10:36 PM

Asymptomatic dengue-infected humans can transmit the virus to mosquitoes

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

A paper published last week in PNAS is the first to experimentally test whether asymptomatic dengue virus-infected humans are infectious to humans. Spoiler alert: they are.... Read more »

Duong V, Lambrechts L, Paul RE, Ly S, Lay RS, Long KC, Huy R, Tarantola A, Scott TW, Sakuntabhai A.... (2015) Asymptomatic humans transmit dengue virus to mosquitoes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26553981  

  • November 16, 2015
  • 08:37 PM

Strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast and educational outcomes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University. The study of 5000 9-11 year-olds from more than 100 primary schools sought to examine the link between breakfast consumption and quality and subsequent attainment in Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments* 6-18 months later.... Read more »

  • November 16, 2015
  • 11:40 AM

Smell Test in Screening for Parkinson's Disease Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular model of polypeptide parkinIdentification of early or prodromal stages of the diseases of neuroscience medicine is an important clinical and research goal.Identification of prodromal illness allows for enhanced surveillance and initiation of secondary prevention interventions.Impairment of smell or olfactory sensation is a key early clue for Parkinson's disease (PD).Danna Jennings and colleagues recently published an important study of the role of smell impairment in prodromal PD.This ........ Read more »

Jennings D, Siderowf A, Stern M, Seibyl J, Eberly S, Oakes D, Marek K, & PARS Investigators. (2014) Imaging prodromal Parkinson disease: the Parkinson Associated Risk Syndrome Study. Neurology, 83(19), 1739-46. PMID: 25298306  

  • November 16, 2015
  • 10:27 AM

Being true to yourself may protect against the harmful effects of loneliness

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A lot has been written about the downward spiral of loneliness. People who crave more social contact often develop behaviours and thinking styles that only serve to accentuate their isolation, such as turning to drink and becoming more sensitive to perceived slights and rejections. Less studied is the question of whether some people have personality traits that give them a buffer against these loneliness-related risks. A new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology finds a promising c........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2015
  • 09:42 AM

Freak bacterial skin infections in hockey players

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I suspect I'd be dead if not for antibacterial drugs (most people call them antibiotics, but I'm stubborn and prefer a more specific term). As a preschooler, I spent several months being very ill with tonsillitis. It took more than a couple rounds of bacteria-harming drugs to fix me up, and who knows if I would've been able to kick the infection without them before my throat closed up or my heart failed due to rheumatic fever. Due at least in part to my childhood experience, I'm morbidly fascina........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2015
  • 06:33 AM

Careful – a long-running rivalry can make you reckless

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Victory is always gratifying and acquires an even more delicious taste when it involves the defeat of a rival. But new evidence published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that rivalries, as well as spurring us on, also promote a mindset that favours eagerness, even recklessness – a mindset that seeks to achieve a legacy for the history books, but carries a risk to our chances on the day.NYU psychologist Gavin Kilduff defines rivalry as a relationship charac........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2015
  • 05:50 AM

The Neuroscience of Social Media: An Unofficial History

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

There's a new article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences about how neuroscientists can incorporate social media into their research on the neural correlates of social cognition (Meshi et al., 2015). The authors outlined the sorts of social behaviors that can be studied via participants' use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.: (1) broadcasting information; (2) receiving feedback; (3) observing others' broadcasts; (4) providing feedback; (5) comparing self to others.Meshi, Tamir, and Heekeren / Tr........ Read more »

Meshi D, Tamir TI, Heekeren HR. (2015) The Emerging Neuroscience of Social Media. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. info:/10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.004

  • November 16, 2015
  • 04:41 AM

Symptom profiles of chronic fatigue syndrome across borders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

To quote from the paper by Maria Zdunek and colleagues [1] (open-access available here): "These findings suggest that there may be important differences in illness characteristics across individuals with CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] in the US [United States] and the UK [United Kingdom], and this has implications for the comparability of research findings across these two countries."Looking at how symptom profiles and the "functional differences experienced by patients with ........ Read more »

Zdunek M, Jason LA, Evans M, Jantke R, & Newton JL. (2015) A Cross Cultural Comparison of Disability and Symptomatology Associated with CFS. International journal of psychology and behavioral sciences, 5(2), 98-107. PMID: 26478826  

  • November 16, 2015
  • 04:30 AM

Making a Comeback After Rotator Cuff Repair

by Kyle Lewis, Michelle Moreau in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

If an athlete suffers a rotator cuff tear, whether it is a partial or full thickness tear, their chances of returning to their previous level of play after surgery is favorable at the recreational level but not at the professional level.... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 06:00 PM

Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Critical thinking is often touted as a superior way to confront the issues one faces. But what is critical thinking, really? How is it done?   Can anyone do it, or are Spock-like mental abilities required? Critical thinking is sometimes talked about as a near-mystical skill that exercises untapped parts of your brain. The supposed…
Check out Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 04:00 PM

Some Notes on Reductionism

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

We can and should (and do) avoid the idea that stringing together "nothing but" pieces of content is sufficient to make 'holistic' understanding bubble up as an emergent property of student learning. But equally dubious, and equally unsubscribed, is the idea that learning can be transformed from fragmented to holistic by subtracting something from the experience.... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 03:19 PM

The rise of do-it-yourself biology

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The Wilson Center’s Synthetic Biology Project has released a short documentary on the growth of the do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) movement as seen through a community DIYbio lab in Baltimore, Maryland. ... Read more »

The Wilson Center. (2015) The rise of do-it-yourself biology: A look at the Baltimore Underground Science Space. Synthetic Biology Project. info:other/Link

  • November 15, 2015
  • 12:58 PM

Bioanthro lab activity: Hominin brain size

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

Last week in my Human Evolution class we looked at whether we could estimate hominin brain sizes, or endocranial volumes (ECV), based on just the length and width of the bony brain case. Students took these measurements on 3D surface scans… … and then plugged their data into equations relating these measurements to brain size […]... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 07:34 AM

Meta-Neuroscience: Studying the Brains of Neuroscientists

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

How do neuroscientists' brains work?

In a remarkable (and very meta) new paper, German researchers Frieder Michel Paulus et al. scanned some neuroscientists (their own colleagues) using fMRI, to measure the brain response to seeing neuroscience papers. The study is out now in PLoS ONE: Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists' Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication

Paulus et al.'s paper has already got a lot of attention: it's been featured on the famous Improbable Research blog, ... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 06:51 AM

Know your brain: Vestibular system

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the vestibular system?The vestibular system is comprised of several structures and tracts, but the main components of the system are found in the inner ear in a system of interconnected compartments called the vestibular labyrinth. The vestibular labyrinth is made up of the semicircular canals and the otolith organs (all discussed below), and contains receptors for vestibular sensations. These receptors send vestibular information via the vestibulocochlear nerve to the cerebellum and to........ Read more »

Khan S, Chang R. (2013) Anatomy of the vestibular system: A review. NeuroRehabilitation, 32(3), 437-443. info:/

  • November 14, 2015
  • 04:18 PM

3-D printing aids in understanding food enjoyment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tasting food relies on food volatiles moving from the back of the mouth to the nasal cavity, but researchers have wondered why airflow doesn’t carry them in the other direction, into the lungs. Now a team of engineers, using a 3D printed model of the human airway from nostril to trachea, has determined that the shape of the airway preferentially transfers volatiles to the nasal cavity and allows humans to enjoy the smell of good food.... Read more »

Ni, R., Michalski, M., Brown, E., Doan, N., Zinter, J., Ouellette, N., & Shepherd, G. (2015) Optimal directional volatile transport in retronasal olfaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511495112  

  • November 13, 2015
  • 08:32 PM

Not so happy old age?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The notion that older people are happier than younger people is being challenged following a recent study led by a University of Bradford lecturer. In fact it suggests that people get more depressed from age 65 onwards. The study, led by psychology lecturer Dr Helena Chui, builds on a 15-year project observing over 2,000 older Australians living in the Adelaide area.... Read more »

  • November 13, 2015
  • 04:24 PM

Make people uncertain then remind them about God, and they become more fearful of sin

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

There’s plenty of research about suggesting that feeling uncertain can increase the strength of belief in god in different ways. But what’s not clear is whether belief in god reduces the ill effects of uncertainty, or is a response to it. One theory is that a belief in God provides a kind of reassurance, which [Read More...]... Read more »

  • November 13, 2015
  • 03:48 PM

The autism numbers game: now 1 in 45 (estimated)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I want to (briefly) draw your attention to the findings reported by Benjamin Zablotsky and colleagues [1] (open-access) recently on the topic of the (estimated) autism prevalence rate. Specifically the figure that seems to be making some media headlines: "The estimated ASD [autism spectrum disorder] prevalence was 2.24% (1 in 45) in 2014."Based on data derived from the 2014 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) designed with the purpose "to monitor the health of the........ Read more »

Benjamin Zablotsky, Lindsey I. Black, Matthew J. Maenner, Laura A. Schieve, & Stephen J. Blumberg. (2015) Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. National Health Statistics Reports. info:/

  • November 13, 2015
  • 08:43 AM

Predatory journals: the dark side of Open Access

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Low quality non peer reviewed open access journals called ‘predatory’ compromise the credibility of open access publishing and cause damage to this business model’s reputation. A detailed study analyzes these journals and their publishers, including geographic location and authors’ profile. … Read More →... Read more »

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