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  • June 3, 2015
  • 03:49 PM

What musical taste tells us about social class

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Love the opera? Hungry for hip hop? It turns out that your musical likes and dislikes may say more about you than you think, according to UBC research. Even in 2015, social class continues to inform our cultural attitudes and the way we listen to music, according to the study. “Breadth of taste is not linked […]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 12:55 PM

Accepting Continental Drift: 50th anniversary of the seminal Bullard et al. map

by Marc in Teaching Biology

Originally written for the Geological Society of London’s History Of Geology Group, where I am web editor. Amidst the many events this year celebrating William Smith and the publication of his 1815 map, comes another, less well-known anniversary. The acceptance of continental drift led to a seismic shift in 20th century geology, the development of the theory … Continue reading Accepting Continental Drift: 50th anniversary of the seminal Bullard et al. map →
The post Accepting........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 11:29 AM

Measles-induced immune amnesia

by Aurelie in Coffee break Science

Measles is no trifling childhood disease. The virus is extremely contagious, and measles infection can have severe complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, brain damage, and death. Now, a recent study published in Science suggests that measles can also leave children… Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 09:38 AM

Video Tip of the Week: ClinGen, The Clinical Genome Resource

by Mary in OpenHelix

The sequence data tsunami begins to crash into the shore, at the feet of clinicians and patients who want answers and treatment directions. But sometimes the tsunami is washing in debris. As the amount of sequence and variation information grows, some of it comes without clear evaluations of the impacts. Some of it comes with […]... Read more »

Rehm, H., Berg, J., Brooks, L., Bustamante, C., Evans, J., Landrum, M., Ledbetter, D., Maglott, D., Martin, C., Nussbaum, R.... (2015) ClinGen — The Clinical Genome Resource. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsr1406261  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 08:15 AM

Left-Handers Have Prettier Brains

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Take a quick look at the human brain and it seems very symmetrical. Well, it’s not. Which hand you use can help determine just how symmetrical your brain actually is, and for some people that’s really important – they were born with only half a brain!... Read more »

Rogers, L., Zucca, P., & Vallortigara, G. (2004) Advantages of having a lateralized brain. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271(Suppl_6). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0200  

Muckli, L., Naumer, M., & Singer, W. (2009) Bilateral visual field maps in a patient with only one hemisphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(31), 13034-13039. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809688106  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Black kids are troublemakers but White kids behave badly sometimes

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We know that Black and White students are treated differently (this author cites correlational studies across thousands of schools in the US showing this disparity) but this study shows us that you don’t have to physically see race to dispense differential treatment. Just believing race is probably present is enough. The concept in question is […]

Related posts:
Even kids don’t make passes at kids wearing glasses
Black victims of violent crimes aren’t treated any better by the syst........ Read more »

Okonofua JA, & Eberhardt JL. (2015) Two strikes: race and the disciplining of young students. Psychological Science, 26(5), 617-24. PMID: 25854276  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:31 AM

Do music and language share brain resources?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you listen to some music and when you read a book, does your brain use the same resources? This question goes to the heart of how the brain is organised – does it make a difference between cognitive domains like music and language? In a new commentary I highlight a successfull approach which helps […]... Read more »

Kunert, R., & Slevc, L.R. (2015) A commentary on “Neural overlap in processing music and speech” (Peretz et al., 2015) . Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00330

Peretz I, Vuvan D, Lagrois MÉ, & Armony JL. (2015) Neural overlap in processing music and speech. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1664), 20140090. PMID: 25646513  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:31 AM

Antimitochondrial antibodies and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The current study demonstrated significantly high levels of AMA-M2 [antimitochondrial antibodies subtype 2] in autistic subjects when compared with healthy controls. Further large-scale studies are required to dissect any pathogenic role of these antibodies in the development of autism."Accepting that 'healthy controls' is not the terminology that I personally would use to describe 'not-autism' control participants and to 'dissect' findings perhaps conjures up some rather gruesome ima........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 01:45 AM

Motion blindness found in some dyslexics

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Several years ago, I worked as a clinician at a treatment program for adults with learning disabilities, many of whom were diagnosed with dyslexia, a disorder that negatively impacts a person's ability to read, perceive speech, remember language, and recognize/manipulate language-based sounds. Many of my patients had difficulties advancing in their jobs, struggled to pay the rent, perform daily tasks that required reading, and thus relied on others to get by. The countless stories I listened to ........ Read more »

Cicchini GM, Marino C, Mascheretti S, Perani D, & Morrone MC. (2015) Strong Motion Deficits in Dyslexia Associated with DCDC2 Gene Alteration. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35(21), 8059-64. PMID: 26019324  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 12:05 AM

Think Before You Soak

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

Culture samples from 3 whirlpools at a NCAA Division I university demonstrated the presence of staphylococcus aureus (Staph) both before and after sanitization. Further, Staph was found to be present in surrounding areas and was higher following use by patients than prior to treatment.... Read more »

  • June 2, 2015
  • 05:50 PM

Prototheca are shoddy algae that eat oil, sewage, tree gunk, and people

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

The natural world tends to defy easy categorization. Take algae, for example. A seemingly encompassing definition of this group would be small, simply structured green creatures that use the sun's energy to make food. So, things like seaweed and the vibrant goo that covers lakes and ponds polluted with nutrients. But of course it's not that simple, since kelp are freakin' huge and the colour palette of algae includes red, brown, and gold.Then there's the genus Prototheca. They're spherical&........ Read more »

McMullan B, Muthiah K, Stark D, Lee L, & Marriott D. (2011) Prototheca wickerhamii mimicking yeast: A cautionary tale. Journal of clinical microbiology, 49(8), 3078-81. PMID: 21653770  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 03:41 PM

Neurobiology of Child Neglect/Abuse: Nemeroff Lecture Notes

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I had the opportunity to attend the Warren Neuroscience Lecture presented by Dr. Charles Nemeroff in Tulsa, OK on June 2, 2015.Dr. Nemeroff has been an international leader in research in mood and anxiety disorders. His recent focus has been on the effects of adverse childhood environments on risk for adult mood and anxiety disorders. Here are my notes that summarize some of the key points from his lecture.Introduction:Stress is an important factor in understanding depressionEarly life stre........ Read more »

  • June 2, 2015
  • 10:55 AM

Tool-Using Crows Overcome Their Lack of Pockets

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Let's say you're clever enough to build and use tools, but your species hasn't learned how to manufacture pants. So you can't store your hard-won tools in your pocket, or in a belt or box. What to do? One species of crow is showing scientists how it answers that question—and how it changes its strategy based on how likely its tools are to go missing.

New Caledonian crows, native to islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, are renowned tool makers and users. They prey on bugs that live ........ Read more »

Klump BC, van der Wal JE, St Clair JJ, & Rutz C. (2015) Context-dependent 'safekeeping' of foraging tools in New Caledonian crows. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 282(1808). PMID: 25994674  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 06:48 AM

The Benefits Of A Herpes Infection

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Herpes boosts the immune system and helps fight off other viruses.... Read more »

Furman, D., Jojic, V., Sharma, S., Shen-Orr, S., L. Angel, C., Onengut-Gumuscu, S., Kidd, B., Maecker, H., Concannon, P., Dekker, C.... (2015) Cytomegalovirus infection enhances the immune response to influenza. Science Translational Medicine, 7(281), 281-281. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa2293  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 04:52 AM

Yokukansan and treatment-resistant schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'll freely admit that I'm no expert on yokukansan (YKS), the "traditional Asian herbal medicine" that comprises Atractylodis lanceae Rhizoma, Poria, Cnidii Rhizoma, Uncariae Uncis cum Ramulus, Angelicae Radix, Bupleuri Radix and Glycyrrhizae Radix. Yokukansan, in some circles also known as TJ-54, has however cropped up on my autism research radar before as per the very preliminary findings reported by Miyaoka and colleagues [1] (open-access) a few years back suggesting that the h........ Read more »

Miyaoka T, Furuya M, Horiguchi J, Wake R, Hashioka S, Thoyama M, Murotani K, Mori N, Minabe Y, Iyo M.... (2015) Efficacy and safety of yokukansan in treatment-resistant schizophrenia: a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 201592. PMID: 25954314  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 01:46 AM

Possible link between Alzheimer's disease and sleep-dependent memory consolidation?

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

It has been well established that certain kinds of sleep consolidate certain kinds of memory. Mander and colleagues (2015) discovered that in older adults, beta-amyloid (the main component of amyloid plagues found in Alzheimer's disease) appears to disrupt slow wave activity in the medial frontal cortex during NREM sleep, which then impairs hippocampus-based memory consolidation. It would also be interesting to investigate possible disruptions in thalamic sleep spindle activity to see how this m........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2015
  • 11:34 PM

Poisons once used as medicines

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

The difference between a poison and a medicine is often not clear. Side effects are essentially ways in which a medicine can harm us but it's alright because the effects usually aren't too bad and we otherwise get healed. Antibiotics often cause an upset stomach, but they also prevent us from dying of an infected paper cut. A more extreme example is cancer drugs, which are often highly toxic but are deemed necessary in order to defeat a greater evil. Even still, there are substances for which th........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2015
  • 03:20 PM

How does human behavior lead to surgical errors? Researchers count the ways

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why are major surgical errors called “never events?” Because they shouldn’t happen — but do. Mayo Clinic researchers identified 69 never events among 1.5 million invasive procedures performed over five years and detailed why each occurred. Using a system created to investigate military plane crashes, they coded the human behaviors involved to identify any environmental, organizational, job and individual characteristics that led to the never events.... Read more »

Cornelius A. Thiels, DO, Tarun Mohan Lal, MS, Joseph M. Nienow, MBA, Kalyan S. Pasupathy, PhD, Renaldo C. Blocker, PhD, Johnathon M. Aho, MD, Timothy I. Morgenthaler, MD, Robert R. Cima, MD, Susan Hallbeck, PhD, & Juliane Bingener. (2015) Surgical never events and contributing human factors . Surgery . info:/

Cima RR, Kollengode A, Clark J, Pool S, Weisbrod C, Amstutz GJ, & Deschamps C. (2011) Using a data-matrix-coded sponge counting system across a surgical practice: impact after 18 months. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources, 37(2), 51-8. PMID: 21939132  

  • June 1, 2015
  • 10:49 AM

The statistics are clear: a cultural shift away from religion is underway in the USA

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

From time to time, we see surveys from the USA that suggest an increasing tide of non-affiliation to religion, especially among the young. Taken in isolation, it’s really hard to know what to make of them. Maybe, for example, what we are seeing reflects religious apathy among the young. Maybe it’s simply that people believe [Read More...]... Read more »

  • June 1, 2015
  • 07:38 AM

Some perfectly healthy people can't remember their own lives

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists in Canada think they've identified an entirely new memory syndrome in healthy people characterised by a specific inability to re-live their past. This may sound like a form of amnesia, but the three individuals currently described have no history of brain damage or illness and have experienced no known recent psychological trauma or disturbance.In light of the recent discovery that some people have an uncanny ability to recall their lives in extreme detail, known as hyperthymesia o........ Read more »

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