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  • August 31, 2015
  • 02:24 PM
  • 16 views

Television viewing linked to higher injury risk in hostile people

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.... Read more »

Fabio, A., Chen, C., Dearwater, S., Jacobs, D., Erickson, D., Matthews, K., Iribarren, C., Sidney, S., & Pereira, M. (2015) Television viewing and hostile personality trait increase the risk of injuries. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2015.1061560  

  • August 31, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 26 views

Cow Pies Can Make You Smarter and Less Stressed

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

It seems like everyone is running around buying school supplies and books, registering for classes, and fretting about how hard it is going to be to learn another whole year’s worth of stuff. The secret to success, it turns out, may lie in cow dung.A cow pie. Photo taken by Jeff Vanuga at the USDA available at Wikimedia Commons.Recent research has highlighted the important role that microbes living in animal digestive tracts have on host animals’ health and behavior. This influence of our gu........ Read more »

  • August 30, 2015
  • 02:34 PM
  • 35 views

The alien within: Fetal cells influence maternal health during pregnancy (and long after)

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Parents go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their developing offspring. The favor, however, may not always be returned. Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health.... Read more »

  • August 29, 2015
  • 01:48 PM
  • 62 views

Confidence in parenting could help break cycle of abuse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

To understand how confidence in parenting may predict parenting behaviors in women who were abused as children, psychologists have found that mothers who experienced more types of maltreatment as children are more critical of their ability to parent successfully. Intervention programs for moms at-risk, therefore, should focus on bolstering mothers’ self-confidence–not just teach parenting skills, the researchers said.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2015
  • 01:59 PM
  • 70 views

Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a new study. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2015
  • 01:45 PM
  • 80 views

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus’s direct effect on the host’s immune cells, but rather through the cells’ lethal influence on one another. HIV can either be spread through free-floating virus that directly infect the host immune cells or an infected cell can pass the virus to an uninfected cell.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2015
  • 03:40 AM
  • 64 views

Filtering sequence alignment reduces the quality of single-gene trees

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

The recent publication of our paper “Current methods for automated filtering of multiple sequence alignments frequently worsen single-gene phylogenetic inference” in Systematic Biology is the conclusion of 5 years of work, most of which was spent in peer-review. I will write a separate post on the issue of pre- vs. post-publication in a later post; for now, I’ll summarise our main results and try to provide an intuition for them.

Does automatic alignment filtering lead to bett........ Read more »

  • August 26, 2015
  • 01:30 PM
  • 59 views

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That’s the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, suggesting that these tiny filaments may lash together the sperm and its target.... Read more »

  • August 25, 2015
  • 01:07 PM
  • 85 views

Predicting who will murder his wife or his family

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Murderers who kill intimate partners and family members have a significantly different psychological and forensic profile from murderers who kill people they don’t know, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study that examined the demographics, psychiatric history and neuropsychology of these individuals.... Read more »

  • August 24, 2015
  • 01:15 PM
  • 73 views

Genetic overlaps in autoimmune diseases may suggest common therapies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists who analyzed the genes involved in 10 autoimmune diseases that begin in childhood have discovered 22 genome-wide signals shared by two or more diseases. These shared gene sites may reveal potential new targets for treating many of these diseases, in some cases with existing drugs already available for non-autoimmune disorders.... Read more »

Yun R Li,, Jin Li,, Sihai D Zhao,, Jonathan P Bradfield,, Frank D Mentch,, S Melkorka Maggadottir,, Cuiping Hou,, Debra J Abrams,, Diana Chang,, Feng Gao,.... (2015) Meta-analysis of shared genetic architecture across ten pediatric autoimmune diseases. Nature Medicine. DOI: http://.org/10.1038/nm.3933  

  • August 23, 2015
  • 06:46 PM
  • 100 views

Men And Women: Similarities Or Differences?

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

It's a question that many people struggle with and has great implications for the study of our species: are men and women more alike than different or more different than alike, and what differences exist between the sexes?... Read more »

Hyde, J. (2014) Gender Similarities and Differences. Annual Review of Psychology, 65(1), 373-398. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115057  

  • August 23, 2015
  • 01:49 PM
  • 114 views

Want a better relationship and a better sex life?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If men take up more of the child-care duties, splitting them equally with their female partners, heterosexual couples have more satisfaction with their relationships and their sex lives, according to new research by sociologists. The group used data from more than 900 heterosexual couples’ responses in the 2006 Marital Relationship Study (MARS).... Read more »

Daniel Fowler et al. (2015) Couples That Split Childcare Duties Have Higher Quality Relationships and Sex Lives . American Sociological Association. info:other/Link

  • August 22, 2015
  • 12:49 PM
  • 142 views

Don’t touch that dial: TV’s subliminal influence on women’s perception of pregnancy and birth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In an era where popular culture is increasingly recognized for its impact on lay understanding of health and medicine, few scholars have looked at television’s powerful role in the creation of patient expectations, especially regarding pregnancy and birth.... Read more »

Danielle Bessett. (2015) As Seen on TV: Women's Views on Television Representations of Pregnancy and Birth. American Sociological Association’s 110th Annual Meeting. info:other/SES-0402165

  • August 21, 2015
  • 01:53 PM
  • 118 views

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.... Read more »

  • August 20, 2015
  • 06:01 PM
  • 233 views

The story of a cave and climate change

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Old writings spanning the last four hundred years have been discovered in China that detail eras of drought. Using these as a starting point, researchers have connected the time periods with changes in rainfall to predict future droughts in the region.... Read more »

Tan, L., Cai, Y., An, Z., Cheng, H., Shen, C., Breitenbach, S., Gao, Y., Edwards, R., Zhang, H., & Du, Y. (2015) A Chinese cave links climate change, social impacts, and human adaptation over the last 500 years. Scientific Reports, 12284. DOI: 10.1038/srep12284  

  • August 20, 2015
  • 02:24 PM
  • 220 views

How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distant history of host-virus interactions. A study of antiviral gene sequences in African monkeys suggests that lentiviruses closely related to HIV have infected primates in Africa as far back as 16 million ye........ Read more »

Kevin R. McCarthy, Andrea Kirmaier, Patrick Autissier, & Welkin E. Johnson. (2015) Evolutionary and Functional Analysis of Old World Primate TRIM5 Reveals the Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses and Convergent Evolution Targeting a Conserved Capsid Interface. PLOS Pathogens. info:/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005085

  • August 20, 2015
  • 02:01 PM
  • 113 views

‘Memory region’ of the brain also involved in conflict resolution

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The hippocampus in the brain’s temporal lobe is responsible for more than just long-term memory. Researchers have for the first time demonstrated that it is also involved in quick and successful conflict resolution.... Read more »

C.R. Oehrn, C. Baumann, J. Fell, H. Lee, H. Kessler, U. Habel, S. Hanslmayr, & N. Axmacher. (2015) Human hippocampal dynamics during response conflict. Current Biology. info:/10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.032

  • August 19, 2015
  • 03:43 PM
  • 128 views

Happiness spreads, but depression isn’t contagious

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Having friends who suffer from depression doesn’t affect the mental health of others, according to research. The team found that having friends can help teenagers recover from depression or even avoid becoming depressed in the first instance. The findings are the result of a study of the way teenagers in a group of US high schools influenced each others’ mood. The academics used a mathematical model to establish if depression spreads from friend to friend.... Read more »

E. M. Hill, F. E. Griffiths, & T. House. (2015) Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. info:/10.1098/rspb.2015.1180

  • August 19, 2015
  • 01:15 PM
  • 117 views

Don’t I know that guy? Neuroscientists pinpoint part of the brain that deciphers memory from new experience

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You see a man at the grocery store. Is that the fellow you went to college with or just a guy who looks like him? One tiny spot in the brain has the answer. Neuroscientists have identified the part of the hippocampus that creates and processes this type of memory, furthering our understanding of how the mind works, and what’s going wrong when it doesn’t.... Read more »

  • August 18, 2015
  • 02:35 PM
  • 114 views

Nicotine changes marijuana’s effect on the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How scientists study the effects of marijuana on the brain is changing. Until recently marijuana research largely excluded tobacco users from its participant pool, but scientists have found reason to abandon this practice, uncovering significant differences in the brains of individuals who use both tobacco and marijuana and the brains of those who only use marijuana.... Read more »

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