Post List

  • April 8, 2014
  • 11:05 AM

Information theory of behavior

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

Biology can tell us what but theory tells us why. There is a new issue of Current Opinion in Neurobiology that focuses on the theory and computation in neuroscience. There’s tons of great stuff there, from learning and memory to the meaning of a spike to the structure of circuitry. I have an article in this issue and […]... Read more »

Sharpee, T., Calhoun, A., & Chalasani, S. (2014) Information theory of adaptation in neurons, behavior, and mood. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 47-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.11.007  

  • April 8, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 1 view

The story of the phospholipase A superfamily

by Clay Clark in Biochem Blogs

  The phospholipase A2 superfamily is a group of enzymes that cleave fatty acid groups from glycerol, in particular acyl groups at the sn-2 position. They contribute to numerous metabolic processes and diseases, including Alzheimer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis; making this group of proteins very attractive to study. This superfamily includes groups such as secreted, […]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 09:37 AM

Researchers Use Sun to Make Solar Energy Materials

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 08:11 AM

Co-circulation of viruses between apes and humans in Africa

by socgenmicro in Microbe Post

On 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong made mankind’s most famous leap, when he opened the Eagle’s hatch and stepped down onto the lunar surface. Hundreds of thousands of miles away in Ghana, something else happened in 1969 that you may … Continue reading →... Read more »

Harvala H, Van Nguyen D, McIntyre C, Ahuka-Mundeke S, Ngole EM, Delaporte E, Peeters M, & Simmonds P. (2014) Co-circulation of enteroviruses between apes and humans. The Journal of General Virology, 95(Pt 2), 403-7. PMID: 24189620  

Oberste MS, Feeroz MM, Maher K, Nix WA, Engel GA, Hasan KM, Begum S, Oh G, Chowdhury AH, Pallansch MA.... (2013) Characterizing the picornavirus landscape among synanthropic nonhuman primates in Bangladesh, 2007 to 2008. Journal of Virology, 87(1), 558-71. PMID: 23097448  

  • April 8, 2014
  • 07:35 AM


by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

There are a number of genetic and environmental factors known to affect the development and progression of the disease, but the exact underlying cause of the neuronal degeneration is still largely unknown. Studies of Parkinson’s in families have revealed that genetic factors are likely to contribute to the development of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in particular. The list of environmental factors associated with Parkinson’s is extensive, including increased risk with exposu........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 06:07 AM

Knowing your grandmother

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a spectrum of ways in which the brain may hold concepts that range from very localized to very distributed, and there is little agreement of where along that spectrum various concepts are held. At the one end is the ultimate local storage: a single ‘grandmother’ neuron that recognizes your grandmother in matter how […]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 05:19 AM

Narcissistic CEOs: Are They Self-Serving Takers?

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Narcissism plays a key role in the excessive executive pay culture. What is the impact of having a narcissist at the head of a company?
... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 03:35 AM

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and various factors

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Kate Lievesley and colleagues [1] documenting various "predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in children and adolescents" caught my eye recently. Based on a review of the research literature around the topic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [in childhood], the authors set about detailing some of the important factors linked to the condition and in doing so, highlighted how physiology and psychology might combine when it........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 09:00 PM

Vitamin A and the immune system

by Aurelie in The Immuno Blog

Vitamin A is known to play an important role in embryonic and early childhood development. Childhood blindness is perhaps the most widely known example of the deleterious effects of vitamin A deficiency in children. It has been known for a … Continue reading →... Read more »

Spencer SP, Wilhelm C, Yang Q, Hall JA, Bouladoux N, Boyd A, Nutman TB, Urban JF Jr, Wang J, Ramalingam TR.... (2014) Adaptation of innate lymphoid cells to a micronutrient deficiency promotes type 2 barrier immunity. Science, 343(6169), 432-7. PMID: 24458645  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 08:33 PM

Is ketamine really a plausible treatment for depression?

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Last week, a publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology made international news by reporting that patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) showed improvement after being given the dissociative hallucinogenic drug ketamine. Ketamine, which is traditionally used as an anesthetic in humans and other animals, is probably better known for its use as a party drug (in this context it is often called "special K"). However, a growing body of evidence has begun to suggest that ketamine may........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 05:29 PM

New Electrolyte to Enable Fast-Charging Li-Ion Batteries

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Scientists in Japan have developed an innovative electrolyte that may be the key to the next great breakthrough in advanced lithium-ion batteries.... Read more »

Yamada, Y., Furukawa, K., Sodeyama, K., Kikuchi, K., Yaegashi, M., Tateyama, Y., & Yamada, A. (2014) Unusual Stability of Acetonitrile-Based Superconcentrated Electrolytes for Fast-Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136(13), 5039-5046. DOI: 10.1021/ja412807w  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 04:12 PM

Did I Do That? Distinguishing Real from Imagined Actions

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

If you’re like most people, you spend a great deal of your time remembering past events and planning or imagining events that may happen in the future. While these activities have their uses, they also make it terribly hard to keep track of what you have and haven’t actually seen, heard, or done. Distinguishing between memories of real experiences and memories of imagined or dreamt experiences is called reality monitoring and it’s something we do (or struggle to do) all of the ........ Read more »

Brandt, V., Bergström, Z., Buda, M., Henson, R., & Simons, J. (2014) Did I turn off the gas? Reality monitoring of everyday actions. Cognitive, Affective, , 14(1), 209-219. DOI: 10.3758/s13415-013-0189-z  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 02:04 PM

Speciation in Reverse

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

I don’t usually advertise my Accumulating Glitches posts on here, but I decided to make an exception for today’s post. …Continue reading →... Read more »

Kleindorfer S, O'Connor JA, Dudaniec RY, Myers SA, Robertson J, & Sulloway FJ. (2014) Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches. The American naturalist, 183(3), 325-41. PMID: 24561597  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 01:26 PM

Multi-Gene Engineering Could Boost Seed Oil Content in Oilseed Crops

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A team of researchers from Rothamsted Research, one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, have published the first study to target multiple genes that control a series of important steps in the pathway for seed oil production.... Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 12:35 PM

Usher Syndrome and Cochlear Implants - Hearing Sound for the First Time

by Alex Giffen in Antisense Science

Joanne Milne, lifelong Usher syndrome sufferer, hears for the first time thanks to cochlear implants... Read more »

Cosgrove, D., & Zallocchi, M. (2014) Usher protein functions in hair cells and photoreceptors. The International Journal of Biochemistry , 80-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.11.001  

Loundon, N., Marlin, S., Busquet, D., Denoyelle, F., Roger, G., Renaud, F., & Garabedian, E. (2003) Usher Syndrome and Cochlear Implantation. Otology , 24(2), 216-221. DOI: 10.1097/00129492-200303000-00015  

Petit C. (2001) Usher syndrome: from genetics to pathogenesis. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. info:/

  • April 7, 2014
  • 11:37 AM

The Genetics of Religious Belief

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In the next few posts, I will review some of the recent brain-related research related to religious belief.Religious belief and religious affiliation run in families. This effect is not surprising as parents influence their children's type of religious experience during development.However, there is increasing evidence that adult religious belief and behavior is also influenced by genetic factors independent of family environment experience.Twin studies represent a powerful research model to tea........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 11:02 AM

Illacme plenipes - World's leggiest creature

by beredim in Strange Animals

Illacme plenipesCredit: Paul Marek et. al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: Diplopoda Order: Siphonophorida Family: SiphonorhinidaeGenus: IllacmeSpecies: Illacme plenipesConservation Status: Not officially assessed, possibly threatened by extinctionCommon Name: NoneDespite their name, we have yet to discover a millipede species that has one thousand legs. However, the rare Illacme plenipes comes very close to this number, with one recorded specimen having 750 legs.The species has on........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Keeping past and future at a distance

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

If I wanted to guess whether my students were more preoccupied with the present or the past, embodied cognition – the notion that the way we think is determined by the way our bodies work, and the scourge of artificial intelligence theorists everywhere – says I should place my money on the future.... Read more »

Caruso EM, Van Boven L, Chin M, & Ward A. (2013) The temporal Doppler effect: when the future feels closer than the past. Psychological Science, 24(4), 530-536. PMID: 23474832  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 08:53 AM

Hummingbirds: still evolving endless forms most wonderful | @GrrlScientist

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

A new study finds that the rising Andes is tied to the rapid speciation of hummingbirds. This study also predicts that hummingbirds will evolve twice as many species as what we see today.... Read more »

McGuire Jimmy A. , Witt Christopher C. , Remsen, Jr. J.V. , Corl Ammon , Rabosky Daniel L. , Altshuler Douglas L. , & Dudley Robert . (2014) Molecular Phylogenetics and the Diversification of Hummingbirds. Current Biology. DOI:  

Hoorn C., Wesselingh F. P., ter Steege H., Bermudez M. A., Mora A., Sevink J., Sanmartin I., Sanchez-Meseguer A., Anderson C. L., & Figueiredo J. P. (2010) Amazonia Through Time: Andean Uplift, Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Biodiversity. Science, 330(6006), 927-931. DOI: 10.1126/science.1194585  

Doorn G. S. v., Noest A. J., & Hogeweg P. (1998) Sympatric speciation and extinction driven by environment dependent sexual selection. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265(1408), 1915-1919. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1998.0520  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 07:03 AM

Why “7 a Day” is the new “5 a Day”

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

You probably saw the news last week that you should “Forget five a day: You need SEVEN portions a day for a long life”. Yes you read that correctly, research now tells us that should eat seven – or possibly even ten – portions of fruit and veg every day to help keep disease at … Continue reading →... Read more »

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