Post List

  • July 14, 2016
  • 11:15 AM
  • 179 views

Does Sugar Really Fuel Willpower?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Another prominent psychology theory has come under scrutiny by researchers who say the published results look unrealistic.



In a new paper, Miguel A. Vadillo et al. take aim at the idea that the body's reserves of willpower rely on glucose.

The background here is the 'ego depletion' model, a psychological theory which holds that self-control is effortful and draws on a limited resource, which can eventually be depleted if it's overused. Many researchers have proposed that glucose is thi... Read more »

  • July 14, 2016
  • 10:14 AM
  • 161 views

Folliculin is required for embryonic brain development in zebrafish

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHD) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding folliculin (FLCN). How this leads to the BHD clinical manifestations is not yet clear. Since homozygous mutations of FLCN are lethal in mice, rats and dogs at early embryonic stage (Hasumi et al., 2009), zebrafish is a valuable alternative model to study the developmental functions of FLCN. Newly published research from Kenyon et al. (2016) examines the role of FLCN in zebrafish development using morpholino oligonuc........ Read more »

Kenyon EJ, Luijten MN, Gill H, Li N, Rawlings M, Bull JC, Hadzhiev Y, van Steensel MA, Maher E, & Mueller F. (2016) Expression and knockdown of zebrafish folliculin suggests requirement for embryonic brain morphogenesis. BMC developmental biology, 16(1), 23. PMID: 27391801  

  • July 14, 2016
  • 03:09 AM
  • 157 views

Gastrin-releasing peptide and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Gastrin-releasing peptide was safe and well tolerated by most subjects and may be effective for core symptoms of autism."So said the results of the study - open trial - by Michele Michelin Becker and colleagues [1] continuing a research theme from this author [2] on the potential need for further scientific scrutiny when it comes to the use of gastrin-releasing peptides (GRP) and autism. Emphasising again that results were based on the use of an open trial (everyone knew what was bein........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 10:30 PM
  • 170 views

Modeling influenza at ECMTB/SMB 2016

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

This week, I am at the University of Nottingham for the joint meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology and the European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology — ECMTB/SMB 2016. It is a huge meeting, with over 800 delegates in attendance, 308 half-hour mini-symposium talks, 264 twenty-minute contributed talks, 190 posters, 7 prize talks, […]... Read more »

Gog, J.R., Ballesteros, S., Viboud, C., Simonsen, L., Bjornstad, O.N., Shaman, J., Chao, D.L., Khan, F., & Grenfell, B.T. (2014) Spatial Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(6). PMID: 24921923  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 03:59 PM
  • 187 views

A New Tool for Studying Gorilla Health: Half-Chewed Food

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In the mountains of Central Africa, scientists who study critically endangered gorillas have a new tool. They've discovered that they can learn what viruses gorillas are carrying by stealthily collecting half-chewed plants the apes leave behind.

If this sounds reminiscent of that class clown at the third-grade lunch table who would ask if you liked seafood and then say "See? Food!" and open his mouth wide to display his sloppy Joe slurry, don't worry—mountain gorillas are vegetarians. ........ Read more »

Smiley Evans T, Gilardi KV, Barry PA, Ssebide BJ, Kinani JF, Nizeyimana F, Noheri JB, Byarugaba DK, Mudakikwa A, Cranfield MR.... (2016) Detection of viruses using discarded plants from wild mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. American journal of primatology. PMID: 27331804  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 03:33 PM
  • 209 views

"Shocking" new role of the immune system: Controlling social interaction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers have determined that the immune system directly affects - and even controls - creatures' social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others. So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions?

... Read more »

Filiano, A., Xu, Y., Tustison, N., Marsh, R., Baker, W., Smirnov, I., Overall, C., Gadani, S., Turner, S., Weng, Z.... (2016) Unexpected role of interferon-γ in regulating neuronal connectivity and social behaviour. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature18626  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 01:24 PM
  • 57 views

eBooks – global market and trends – Part II: The publication of printed and digital books in the world context

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The Global report on ebooks shows that after several years of growth, commercial companies find a decelerated market, where two lines of action strongly emerge: (a) the digitizing of educational books; and (b) books self-publishing initiatives. In this market stands out the ‘four horsemen’ initiatives that shape the digital ecology, integrated by Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. … Read More →... Read more »

WISCHENBART, R.,, & et al. (2016) Global eBook: a report on market trends an developments. Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting (RWCC). info:/

  • July 13, 2016
  • 01:00 PM
  • 20 views

Brockington Lab Weekly Research Round-Up

by ross.mounce in Ross Mounce's blog

This week I chose the papers for the Brockington Lab ‘journal club’ here at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (I prefer to call it the ‘weekly research round-up’ though, because good content has nothing-to-do with journals per se!). We rotate the choice of papers between each lab member every week. Sometimes the focus is … Read more →... Read more »

Islam, T., Croll, D., Gladieux, P., Soanes, D., Persoons, A., Bhattacharjee, P., Hossain, S., Gupta, D., Mahboob, M. G., Cook, N.... (2016) Emergence of wheat blast in Bangladesh was caused by a South American lineage of Magnaporthe oryzae. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/059832  

Erin C McKiernan, Philip E Bourne, Titus Brown, Stuart Buck, Amye Kenall, Jennifer Lin, Damon McDougall, Brian A Nosek, Karthik Ram, Courtney K Soderberg.... (2016) How open science helps researchers succeed. eLife. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16800

  • July 13, 2016
  • 12:00 PM
  • 52 views

Educating Children Reduces Risky Behaviour Around Dogs

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Dog safety education for children works, according to a systematic review of existing research.The CDC estimates that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog every year. Children are at high risk, and bites to children are often more severe than those to adults. Bites to the head and neck are more common than for adults because children are smaller.The CDC says “Among children, the rate of dog-bite–related injuries is highest for those 5 to 9 years old. Children are more likely than adults........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 10:57 AM
  • 157 views

The Genetic Architecture of Complex Disease

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

It’s no secret that while genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated thousands of genetic loci in human phenotypes, the variants uncovered collectively explain only a fraction of the observed variance between individuals. The reasons for this “missing heritability” are a subject of vigorous debate in the scientific community. One possible explanation is that rare (low-frequency) variants […]... Read more »

Fuchsberger C, Flannick J, Teslovich TM, Mahajan A, Agarwala V, Gaulton KJ, Ma C, Fontanillas P, Moutsianas L, McCarthy DJ.... (2016) The genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes. Nature. PMID: 27398621  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 08:45 AM
  • 148 views

The Perils of Plant Monogamy

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

The philodendron that raises its temperature to attract a certain beetle is an exception. Most plants invite many different pollinators, but a few have only a single pollinator species. This leads to some interesting adaptations and some even funkier smells.... Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 07:30 AM
  • 146 views

Plenty of Fish in the Sea but Only Two Kinds of Brains: Epigenetic Sex differences in Zebrafish Brain

by Aniruddha Chatterjee in EpiBeat

Phenotypic differences between males and females of a species are referred to as sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism manifests not only in morphological traits, but also in physiological and behavioural traits. In organisms that do not have sex chromosomes, males and females are both derived from a nearly identical genome. Such is the case in zebrafish. Despite being such an important model for biological research, the mechanism of sex determination still remains a mystery. Many believe environ........ Read more »

Chatterjee A, Ozaki Y, Stockwell PA, Horsfield JA, Morison IM, & Nakagawa S. (2013) Mapping the zebrafish brain methylome using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. Epigenetics, 8(9), 979-89. PMID: 23975027  

Chatterjee A, Stockwell PA, Horsfield JA, Morison IM, & Nakagawa S. (2014) Base-resolution DNA methylation landscape of zebrafish brain and liver. Genomics data, 342-4. PMID: 26484126  

Gagnidze K, Weil ZM, & Pfaff DW. (2010) Histone modifications proposed to regulate sexual differentiation of brain and behavior. BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 32(11), 932-9. PMID: 20836091  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 07:28 AM
  • 182 views

An equation for life

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Water churns. Earth moves. Molecules jostle and chemicals mix. Between heaven and hell, a young planet finds itself in full flux. Developing. Forming. Star stuff rains down and forged elements bubble up. Then it happens. It seems as if it’s just another chemical match-up, another reaction in the vast library of possibilities. But it would […]... Read more »

Scharf C, & Cronin L. (2016) Quantifying the origins of life on a planetary scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 27382156  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 06:11 AM
  • 140 views

Psychologists still don't know why you are oblivious to your blinks

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you were sat in a dark room and the lights flickered off every few seconds, you'd definitely notice. Yet when your blinks make the world go momentarily dark – and bear in mind most of us perform around 12 to 15 of these every minute – you are mostly oblivious. It certainly doesn't feel like someone is flicking the lights on and off. How can this be?A new study in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance has tested two possibilities – one is that after each bl........ Read more »

Irwin, D., & Robinson, M. (2016) Perceiving a Continuous Visual World Across Voluntary Eye Blinks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000267  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 04:35 AM
  • 150 views

Immune reactivity to gluten and (some) autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Not so long ago I blogged about the research paper from Faezeh Ghalichi and colleagues [1] (see here) describing the result of their relatively small scale (non-blinded, not placebo-controlled) trial on the use of a gluten-free diet (GFD) with a cohort of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).The results, taking into account certain methodological issues, were generally quite favourable when it came to the analysed behavioural measurements used and importantly on the presence........ Read more »

Faezeh Ghalichi, Alireza Ostadrahimi, Ayyoub Malek, & Jamal Ghaemmaghami. (2016) The effect of gluten free diet on markers of celiac disease and association with behavioral symptoms in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Progress in Nutrition, 18(2). info:/

  • July 13, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 119 views

Determinants of Early Structural Changes After Injury

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Among 143 people with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, 40% had worsening osteophytes or cartilage defects during the first 2 years after injury. Males and people with a meniscal tear, medial cartilage defect at baseline, or medial bone marrow lesion at 1-year follow-up may be at risk for these early structural changes.... Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 01:00 AM
  • 143 views

Another one bites the dust?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The music theory literature has been suggesting it for a long time: the idea that simultaneous sounding tones with frequency relationships that are low integer multiples, like 1:2 (octave) or 3:2 (a perfect fifth), are determinant of how listeners perceive consonance. It is an idea that is often related to the overtone structure of natural sounds (such as the voice or string instruments) suggesting that musical harmony is reflective or even a result of the acoustic structure that is found in nat........ Read more »

Honing, H., ten Cate, C., Peretz, I., & Trehub, S. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140088-20140088. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0088  

  • July 12, 2016
  • 03:39 PM
  • 133 views

When staff absenteeism seems catching, it could be the team culture that's sick

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When the morning alarm carves us out of our slumber, restoring the previous night’s raspy throat and foggy head, we have a decision to make: get up and go, or call in sick. What happens next is influenced by workplace norms about whether absence is commonplace or exceptional, a current pulling us towards the office or letting us settle back into bed. But new research in Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processing from a Dutch-Canadian team, led by Lieke ten Brummelhuis, suggest........ Read more »

ten Brummelhuis, L., Johns, G., Lyons, B., & ter Hoeven, C. (2016) Why and when do employees imitate the absenteeism of co-workers?. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 16-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.04.001  

  • July 12, 2016
  • 03:31 PM
  • 120 views

Stem cells feel the force

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

All cells share the same genetic code, no matter if they are skin or brain cells. However, these cells are exposed to very different types of mechanical environments and mechanical stresses. For example, brain tissue is very soft, whereas bone is hard. Researchers know that cells respond to extrinsic forces by changing their structure and their gene expression to be better suited for their particular environments and to be able to execute their specific functions.... Read more »

Le, H., Ghatak, S., Yeung, C., Tellkamp, F., Günschmann, C., Dieterich, C., Yeroslaviz, A., Habermann, B., Pombo, A., Niessen, C.... (2016) Mechanical regulation of transcription controls Polycomb-mediated gene silencing during lineage commitment. Nature Cell Biology. DOI: 10.1038/ncb3387  

  • July 12, 2016
  • 11:36 AM
  • 14 views

Dextromethorphan for Alzheimer's Disease Agitation

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In my last post I summarized a review of the pharmacology of the drug dextromethorphan.This drug is receiving significant attention for disorders in neuroscience medicine. A phase 2 clinical trial of dextromethorphan-quinidine (DM-Q) was published last fall in JAMA.Here are the key design and results from this study:Subjects: 220 subjects with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease with clinically significant agitation.Randomization Design: This was a five week trial of 3:4 random........ Read more »

Cummings JL, Lyketsos CG, Peskind ER, Porsteinsson AP, Mintzer JE, Scharre DW, De La Gandara JE, Agronin M, Davis CS, Nguyen U.... (2015) Effect of Dextromethorphan-Quinidine on Agitation in Patients With Alzheimer Disease Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 314(12), 1242-54. PMID: 26393847  

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