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  • April 27, 2016
  • 04:55 PM
  • 82 views

Addiction, it’s in your genes… maybe

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Why does one person who tries cocaine get addicted, while another might use it and then leave it alone? Why do some people who kick a drug habit manage to stay clean, while others relapse? And why do some families seem more prone to addiction than others? According to a new study, the road to answering these questions may have a lot to do with specific genetic factors that vary from individual to individual.

... Read more »

Flagel, S., Chaudhury, S., Waselus, M., Kelly, R., Sewani, S., Clinton, S., Thompson, R., Watson, S., & Akil, H. (2016) Genetic background and epigenetic modifications in the core of the nucleus accumbens predict addiction-like behavior in a rat model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201520491. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1520491113  

  • April 27, 2016
  • 04:42 PM
  • 66 views

Measuring happiness on social media

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happiness. It’s something we all strive for, but how do we measure it — as a country? A global community? Not so surprisingly, researchers are turning to social media to answer these questions and more. In a newly published study, computer scientists used two years of Twitter data to measure users’ life satisfaction, a component of happiness.

... Read more »

  • April 26, 2016
  • 10:42 AM
  • 55 views

You Scratch My Back

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Where does the idea of a scientist as a crazed loner come from. Let's work together!... Read more »

Brown, R., Deletic, A., & Wong, T. (2015) Interdisciplinarity: How to catalyse collaboration. Nature, 525(7569), 315-317. DOI: 10.1038/525315a  

AG McCluskey. (2016) You Scratch My Back.. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • April 25, 2016
  • 06:39 AM
  • 91 views

Yet more evidence for questionable research practices in original studies of Reproducibility Project: Psychology

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

The replicability of psychological research is surprisingly low. Why? In this blog post I present new evidence showing that questionable research practices are at the heart of failures to replicate psychological effects. Quick recap. A recent publication in Science claims that only around 40% of psychological findings are replicable, based on 100 replication attempts in […]... Read more »

Asendorpf, J., Conner, M., De Fruyt, F., De Houwer, J., Denissen, J., Fiedler, K., Fiedler, S., Funder, D., Kliegl, R., Nosek, B.... (2013) Recommendations for Increasing Replicability in Psychology. European Journal of Personality, 27(2), 108-119. DOI: 10.1002/per.1919  

Gerber, A., Malhotra, N., Dowling, C., & Doherty, D. (2010) Publication Bias in Two Political Behavior Literatures. American Politics Research, 38(4), 591-613. DOI: 10.1177/1532673X09350979  

Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323  

  • April 23, 2016
  • 07:53 AM
  • 136 views

More on Publication Bias in Money Priming

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



Does the thought of money make people more selfish? Last year, I blogged about the theory of 'money priming', the idea that mere reminders of money can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors. The occasion for that post was a study showing no evidence of the claimed money priming phenomenon, published by psychologists Rohrer, Pashler, and Harris. Rohrer et al.'s paper was accompanied by a rebuttal from Kathleen Vohs, who argued that 10 years of research and 165 studies establish that mone........ Read more »

  • April 19, 2016
  • 07:05 PM
  • 13 views

Neural stem cell transplants aid traumatic brain injury recovery

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

No one knows Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) quite like veterans. Unfortunately, it is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, often causing lifelong disability for those who survive. There is simply no treatment, jut care, but a new study might change that. Stem cell therapy has recently been receiving attention as a way to promote […]... Read more »

Junling Gao, Raymond J. Grill, Tiffany J. Dunn, Supinder Bedi, Javier Allende Labastida, Robert A. Hetz, Hasen Xue, Jason R. Thonhoff, Douglas S. DeWitt, Donald S. Prough.... (2016) Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation-Mediated Alteration of Microglial/Macrophage Phenotypes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Cell Transplantation. DOI: 10.3727/096368916X691150  

  • April 18, 2016
  • 03:32 PM
  • 126 views

Are Territory Disputes Between Male Butterflies Influenced by Motivation?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Nick Gremban Male speckled wood butterflies will “perch” on leavesand ends of twigs to look out over their territory for females. However, they have been known to be quite aggressivewith any intruding males! Photo by Alvesgaspar atWikimedia Commons, modified by Nick Gremban.Think about any territorial animal. Now think about its aggressiveness while it is defending its territory. Was your animal a butterfly? No? You mean the colorful wings and the natural association with flowers d........ Read more »

Bergman, M., Olofsson, M., & Wiklund, C. (2010) Contest outcome in a territorial butterfly: the role of motivation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1696), 3027-3033. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0646  

  • April 14, 2016
  • 07:52 AM
  • 165 views

10 things I learned while working for the Dutch science funding council (NWO)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  The way science is currently funded is very controversial. During the last 6 months I was on a break from my PhD and worked for the organisation funding science in the Netherlands (NWO). These are 10 insights I gained. 1) Belangenverstrengeling This is the first word I learned when arriving in The Hague. There is […]... Read more »

  • April 12, 2016
  • 07:18 PM
  • 175 views

The scientific brain: How the brain repurposes itself to learn scientific concepts

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The human brain was initially used for basic survival tasks, such as staying safe and hunting and gathering. Yet, 200,000 years later, the same human brain is able to learn abstract concepts, like momentum, energy, and gravity, which have only been formally defined in the last few centuries. New research has now uncovered how the brain is able to acquire brand new types of ideas.
... Read more »

Robert A. Mason, & Marcel Adam Just. (2016) Neural Representations of Physics Concepts . Psychological Science. info:other/Pre-print

  • April 10, 2016
  • 06:30 PM
  • 131 views

Spaced Practice

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Spaced practice, also called distributed practice, refers to the practice—after initial learning—of leaving gaps in time between sessions devoted to reviewing previously learned material. This stands in contrast to its much less effective counterpart, massed practice, which "crams" all of the review together in time.... Read more »

  • April 7, 2016
  • 05:19 PM
  • 159 views

Manufacturing human tissue from textiles

by Dr.Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Until we can figure out our lack of regenerating our bodies, or can convince more people to donate organs, we are at mercy of either luck or technology. Bio 3-D printing offers hope that we can print personalized organs as need and rejection free. But the technology relies almost solely with tissue engineers, there job is to find processes using novel bio-materials seeded with stem cells to grow and replace missing tissues.

... Read more »

  • April 7, 2016
  • 12:22 PM
  • 176 views

From the NY Times: Biologists went rogue and publish directly on the Internet

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The ASAP Bio conference held in February at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US, brought together biomedicine researchers to discuss new ways to communicate research results using preprints and post-publication peer review. Renowned scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners started to deposit their articles in open access preprint repositories before proceeding with the formal publication in journals. The topic received last week the attention of the New York Times. … Read More........ Read more »

  • April 6, 2016
  • 05:02 PM
  • 180 views

Uncovering the genetic elements that drive regeneration

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Lose a hand or a leg? It will grow back… oh wait, it won’t, but why not? Trace our evolution — long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs — and you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. There is theoretically no reason why we shouldn’t be able to regenerate, not quite like in the movie Deadpool, but come on, would you really complain at that point?

... Read more »

Kang, J., Hu, J., Karra, R., Dickson, A., Tornini, V., Nachtrab, G., Gemberling, M., Goldman, J., Black, B., & Poss, K. (2016) Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17644  

  • April 5, 2016
  • 05:17 PM
  • 184 views

Suicidal thinking and US veterans

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Something very personal about me, the thought of suicide is never too far behind. It is to the point that I need to qualify it to my counselor when I am asked if I have thoughts of suicide, I always do. A new study shows that I am far from alone Nearly 14 percent of military veterans reported suicidal thinking at one or both phases of a two-year Veterans Affairs (VA) study.... Read more »

  • April 5, 2016
  • 06:43 AM
  • 186 views

Coffee’s Guilty Pleasure

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Eco-friendly behaviors, such as recycling coffee pods, are associated with a sense of pride.... Read more »

  • April 4, 2016
  • 03:57 PM
  • 152 views

Your brain has an altered response to desirable foods

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Hungry? Well, let’s face it, that pizza looks much better than the salad. Don’t deny it salad lovers, we all know behind closed doors you look at plenty of food porn to satiate your desires. Understanding the motivations that drive us to eat is important when we talk about weight loss and how we attempt to structure diets. Now a new study shows that for overweight individuals, the brain responses differently to desirable foods., but hold that thought, because there is hope.

... Read more »

  • April 3, 2016
  • 03:17 PM
  • 172 views

Early detection of dementia in Parkinson’s disease might be key to treatment

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If Parkinson’s disease wasn’t bad enough for families to have to learn to deal with, about 80% of patients also develop dementia. That’s the problem with the brain; while it has the amazing ability to adapt to just about anything, it can’t fix everything. There are no particularly good solutions to Parkinson’s or dementia, however, early detection of dementia is key to keeping it at bay and a new study may have a way to do just that.

... Read more »

Bertrand, J., McIntosh, A., Postuma, R., Kovacevic, N., Latreille, V., Panisset, M., Chouinard, S., & Gagnon, J. (2016) Brain Connectivity Alterations Are Associated with the Development of Dementia in Parkinson's Disease. Brain Connectivity, 6(3), 216-224. DOI: 10.1089/brain.2015.0390  

  • April 2, 2016
  • 04:43 PM
  • 184 views

Born to run? Love of exercise may start in the womb

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you see me on the street and I am running, there is a good chance you should be running as well, because something dangerous is coming. I don’t run, I hate to run, I loathe running, did I mention I don’t like to run? Maybe it’s all the running I did in the military, or if a new study is correct, it may have to do with my mother. Which is good, because now I can blame someone else for my hatred of running.

... Read more »

Eclarinal, J., Zhu, S., Baker, M., Piyarathna, D., Coarfa, C., Fiorotto, M., & Waterland, R. (2016) Maternal exercise during pregnancy promotes physical activity in adult offspring. The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500018R  

  • April 2, 2016
  • 11:38 AM
  • 196 views

Statistics: When Confounding Variables Are Out of Control

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Does ice cream cause drownings? Let's think about this statistically. Consider that, in any given city, daily sales of ice cream are, most likely, positively correlated with daily rates of drownings.



Now, no matter how strong this correlation is, it doesn't really mean that ice cream is dangerous. Rather, the association exists because of a 'confound' variable. In this case it's temperature: on sunny days, people tend to eat more ice cream and they also tend to go swimming more often, thu... Read more »

  • April 1, 2016
  • 03:32 PM
  • 146 views

Stopping organ rejection: An end to the medication

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If you’re a transplant recipient you know that transplant organs are a veritable ticking time bomb waiting to be rejected by your well-meaning (but stupid) body. Not only can you do everything right and still have the organs rejected, you have to take a steady stream of expensive pills to inhibit the immune system and stop the body from launching its attack. Don’t throw your pill organizers away just yet, but soon.

... Read more »

MacDonald, K., Hoeppli, R., Huang, Q., Gillies, J., Luciani, D., Orban, P., Broady, R., & Levings, M. (2016) Alloantigen-specific regulatory T cells generated with a chimeric antigen receptor. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126(4), 1413-1424. DOI: 10.1172/JCI82771  

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