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  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:02 PM
  • 21 views

A study of twins shows that autism is largely genetic

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the fight against misinformation about autism it seems science is starting to come out on top, finally. A new study hopes to add to the recent advancements made in the understanding of autism, which finds that a substantial genetic and moderate environmental influences were associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and broader autism traits in a study of twins.... Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 02:41 PM
  • 29 views

Early life stress may result in a serotonin deficiency

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you have experienced — or are experiencing — mood disorders like anxiety or depression, you know about SSRI’s and chances are they didn’t do much for you. In fact studies indicate that the majority of people with mood and anxiety disorders who receive Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are not helped by these medications. Sadly, they are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant medications, this is because SSRIs are designed to increase serotonin levels, a ........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2015
  • 04:43 PM
  • 43 views

Drug already on the market could help treat MS and other neurological diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Multiple sclerosis, unless you suffer from nerve damage it is a pain you (thankfully) will never have to feel. In most cases, treating the brutal pain caused by this (and other neurological diseases) is the only help that can be offered to people. The pain is caused by damage to myelin, the fatty insulator that enables communication between nerve cells, which characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS) and other devastating neurological diseases.... Read more »

Abiraman, K., Pol, S., O'Bara, M., Chen, G., Khaku, Z., Wang, J., Thorn, D., Vedia, B., Ekwegbalu, E., Li, J.... (2015) Anti-Muscarinic Adjunct Therapy Accelerates Functional Human Oligodendrocyte Repair. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(8), 3676-3688. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3510-14.2015  

  • March 1, 2015
  • 03:20 PM
  • 60 views

Science shows intermittent fasting diet could extend life

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. Proponents of fasting style diets will be first to tell you there are health benefits, heck we've even covered some of the science here at the labs. Well new research shows that putting people on a intermittent fasting (or IF) diet may mimic some of the benefits of actual fasting, and that (ironically enough given their popularity) adding antioxidant supplements counteracts those benefits.... Read more »

  • February 28, 2015
  • 02:46 PM
  • 93 views

Life, NOT as we know it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Life as we know it, when we peer deep into the vastness of space we look for someone — or something — that resembles ourselves. Carbon based, needs water lifeforms, but what if we’re being narrow-minded? A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled by a team of researchers suggests we are being too closed minded about life.... Read more »

James Stevenson,, Jonathan Lunine,, & Paulette Clancy. (2015) Membrane alternatives in worlds without oxygen: Creation of an azotosome. Science Advances. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400067

  • February 27, 2015
  • 05:23 PM
  • 66 views

New compounds protect nerves from the damage of MS

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Autoimmune diseases are tough to live with, frankly we don’t really understand the reasons they start at all, how to treat them, or even where to start in forming a cure. Well there might be some good news — as far as a treatment goes anyway — a newly characterized group of pharmacological compounds block both the inflammation and nerve cell damage seen in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.... Read more »

Haines, J., Herbin, O., de la Hera, B., Vidaurre, O., Moy, G., Sun, Q., Fung, H., Albrecht, S., Alexandropoulos, K., McCauley, D.... (2015) Nuclear export inhibitors avert progression in preclinical models of inflammatory demyelination. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3953  

  • February 26, 2015
  • 03:04 PM
  • 95 views

Dr. Frankenstein might be impressed, the human head transplant

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sure it sounds like something from the book Frankenstein, but Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group has made it known that he intends to announce at this summer’s American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons meeting, that he believes he has put together a group of techniques that should make it possible to attach a human donor body to a head.... Read more »

  • February 25, 2015
  • 03:38 PM
  • 124 views

The food additive that may be promoting obesity and metabolic syndrome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People say to avoid processed foods, while I don’t agree with that fully, a new study suggests that a common food additive may be causing problems. Emulsifiers, which are added to most processed foods to aid texture and extend shelf life, can alter the gut microbiota composition and localization to induce intestinal inflammation that promotes the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 04:38 PM
  • 73 views

Move over oil, new pretreatment could cut biofuel costs by 30 percent or more

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alternative fuels have a few large problems making them horrible options over oil (which is already a horrible choice). However, researchers may have finally eliminated one of those problems, cost. The team has invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing the amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the raw materials that form biofuels.... Read more »

  • February 24, 2015
  • 03:11 AM
  • 56 views

Shelf Life: the Olinguito’s Skull

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Instead of travelling to remote locations in faraway countries, scientists sometimes discover a new species by looking a little more closely at an old specimen in a museum drawer. ... Read more... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 04:21 PM
  • 73 views

Brain waves help memory formation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 10:06 AM
  • 68 views

Effects of Iron Deficiency in Female Runners (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Ana Breit When people think of nutritional deficiencies, they probably picture women with goiters due to lack of iodine or other newsworthy examples. In reality, the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States is iron deficiency. Iron Deficiency (ID) is especially common in endurance athletes, especially female athletes. Start of 2013 Roy Griak Invitational Cross Country Meet at the University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Larson.Iron is the metal in humans that ........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:50 PM
  • 74 views

Teaching: So Easy a "Housewife" Could Do It?

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Two years before the United States put men on the moon, William James Popham and colleagues conducted two very interesting—and to a reader in the 21st century, bizarre—education experiments in southern California which were designed to validate a test they had developed to measure what they called "teacher proficiency."... Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 07:00 PM
  • 98 views

New neurons in the adult brain help us adapt

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear. In a review article researchers synthesize the vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that influence the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in memory and learning.... Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:13 AM
  • 91 views

Of tree rings and rain: drought predicted to worsen in southwestern United States

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Droughts have been severe in California and surrounding states, but will they be any worse than previous droughts in Earth's history? A combination of climate models and tree ring analysis provides an answer.... Read more »

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. (2015) Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 21, 2015
  • 02:36 PM
  • 109 views

Mental illness and ultradian rhythms

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the relatively new 24 hour, always on the go, digital lifestyle we live — might living a structured life with regularly established mealtimes and early bedtimes lead to a better life and perhaps even prevent the onset of mental illness? Well according to a new study, it might do just that, you could have a better quality of life just by being a little more structured thanks to our circadian rhythm.... Read more »

  • February 20, 2015
  • 04:59 PM
  • 103 views

Overriding muscles’ energy efficiency to burn more fat

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What started as an evolutionary protection against starvation has become a biological “bad joke” for people who need to lose weight. The human body doesn’t distinguish between dieting and possible starvation, so when there is a decrease in calories consumed, human metabolism increases its energy efficiency and weight loss is resisted.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2015
  • 03:31 PM
  • 96 views

Predicting the effectiveness of cancer vaccines

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer vaccines, once they were science fiction and now they are designed to turn the body’s own immune system specifically against tumor cells. Particularly promising are vaccines that are directed against so-called neoantigens — which are proteins that have undergone a genetic mutation in tumor cells and, therefore, differ from their counterparts in healthy cells.... Read more »

Bunse, L., Schumacher, T., Sahm, F., Pusch, S., Oezen, I., Rauschenbach, K., Gonzalez, M., Solecki, G., Osswald, M., Capper, D.... (2015) Proximity ligation assay evaluates IDH1R132H presentation in gliomas. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI77780  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 06:17 PM
  • 104 views

The biofuel controversy

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Many countries are adding biofuels to their mandates for carbon-free, renewable energy? But does biofuel truly fit the bill? Not so much, contrary to what popular culture hopes to believe. Find out the details here.... Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 04:24 PM
  • 27 views

Does Science Produce Too Many PhD Graduates?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a new paper, a group of MIT researchers argue that science is producing PhDs in far greater numbers than there are available tenured jobs for them to fill.



The authors, engineers Richard C. Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Yi Xue, start out by noting that
The academic job market has become more and more competitive... nowadays, less than 17% of new PhDs in science, engineering and health-related fields find tenure-track positions within 3 years after graduation.
But why? Are we simp... Read more »

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