Post List

  • July 31, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 13 views

Crystal clear images uncover secrets of hormone receptors

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many hormones and neurotransmitters work by binding to receptors on a cell’s exterior surface. This activates receptors causing them to twist, turn and spark chemical reactions inside cells. NIH scientists used atomic level images to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. Their description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders and the target of many d........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:40 AM
  • 14 views

What Happens When People Text on an Obstacle Course

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Exercise scientist Conrad Earnest was dodging some oblivious pedestrians in England when inspiration struck. He was trying to walk down the sidewalk, but all around him people were weaving back and forth as they focused on their smartphone screens. Earnest suggested to two of his students that they study the dangers of texting while walking. Specifically, they could ask whether texters are more likely to trip and fall—perhaps wishful thinking on Earnest's part as he walked among them.

The... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 15 views

How to make rice healthier for you and the environment

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

An innovative way of cooking rice that removes more arsenic than the conventional method and a new strain of high-starch, low-methane rice are discussed.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 08:03 AM
  • 15 views

What if There Were Live Music at the Doctor’s Office?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

There was a really interesting study published earlier this year that had live music in a medical waiting room. The aim of the study was to learn more about the staff’s perceptions of this live music, but as you might expect, the live … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 5 views

Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It makes sense. If someone is rude to you, you might become grumpy and be rude in response, or rude to those who cross your path in the wake of the mistreatment. You may think of this as a small issue but new research shows us that rude behaviors are actually harmful—and, in fact, as […]

Related posts:
The Workplace Ostracism Scale: Making the subjective objective?
Fat bias in the workplace
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?


... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 05:01 AM
  • 20 views

Of the importance of giving opportunities to practice

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Teaching and Oceanography

When you are short on time and want to teach as much as possible in a given time, how do you allocate time to different activities and are there any that you might be able to drop? Classically, practice is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Martin, F., Klein, J., & Sullivan, H. (2007) The impact of instructional elements in computer-based instruction. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4), 623-636. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00670.x  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 04:13 AM
  • 19 views

Everolimus: a new treatment for BHD renal cancer?

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Last week the US National Cancer Institute announced a phase II clinical trial to test everolimus, a derivative of rapamycin, in BHD patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The trial is also open to sporadic chromophobe RCC (chRCC) patients. Approximately 85% of BHD-RCC is either chRCC or a chromophobe-oncocytoma hybrid (Pavlovich et al., 2002), but there are no effective treatments available for this RCC subtype. Instead BHD patients undergo partial nephrectomies to excise tumours – whi........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 03:34 AM
  • 24 views

Careful now: oral colostrum MAF and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I should perhaps begin this slightly longer than usual post by reiterating my well-trodden caveat on this blog about not giving anything that looks, sounds or smells like medical or clinical advice during my musings. This is a blog [mainly] about peer-reviewed science, nothing more. Added to that, I'm not your Dr Ross and you are not my patient.So... I've been seeing quite a bit about Gc-MAF (Gc Macrophage Activating Factor) in the news recently. The various headlines about autism and Gc-MAF (se........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:10 PM
  • 35 views

Lax standards at PLOS One for peer review of CAM research papers?

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Serious question: has the peer review system at the PLOS journals been doing a less-than-stellar job when it comes to evaluating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research for publication? If the answer is 'yes', why? Or if 'no', how does a paper like this go through PLOS ONE without some serious revisions?... Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 01:55 PM
  • 26 views

Paralyzed men move legs with new non-invasive spinal cord stimulation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Five men with complete motor paralysis were able to voluntarily generate step-like movements thanks to a new strategy that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to their spinal cords. The strategy, called transcutaneous stimulation, delivers electrical current to the spinal cord by way of electrodes strategically placed on the skin of the lower back.... Read more »

Gerasimenko, Y., Lu, D., Modaber, M., Zdunowski, S., Gad, P., Sayenko, D., Morikawa, E., Haakana, P., Ferguson, A., Roy, R.... (2015) Noninvasive Reactivation of Motor Descending Control after Paralysis. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/neu.2015.4008  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 01:10 PM
  • 30 views

A tough bacterium that lives in poisoned soils and pulls gold out of water

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Cupriavidus metallidurans (roughly translated: lover of copper, enduring metal) is a bacterium of the class Betaproteobacteria known for its ability to withstand high concentrations of numerous metals that would be toxic to most other living things. These metals, which include Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sr, Tl, U, and Zn, tend to cause problems for bacterial cells by binding to DNA or proteins, which can disrupt important stuff like obtaining energy or reproducing.The bacterium ........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 11:08 AM
  • 7 views

What is going on with invasive knapweed? OR How I spent my PhD

by Kathryn Turner in Alien Plantation

Over the course of my PhD work (published here, and most recently here), I have found evidence for evolved differences in phenotype (in other words, in their morphology, development, phenology, stress responses) between native and invasive populations of diffuse knapweed. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 37 views

New Insights into Human De Novo Mutations

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

De novo mutations — sequence variants that are present in a child but absent from both parents — are an important source of human genetic variation. I think it’s reasonable to say that most of the 3-4 million variants in any individual’s genome arose, once upon a time, as de novo mutations in his or her ancestors. […]... Read more »

Francioli LC, Polak PP, Koren A, Menelaou A, Chun S, Renkens I, Genome of the Netherlands Consortium, van Duijn CM, Swertz M, Wijmenga C.... (2015) Genome-wide patterns and properties of de novo mutations in humans. Nature genetics, 47(7), 822-6. PMID: 25985141  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:06 AM
  • 39 views

Inflammatory bowel disease and autism: increased prevalence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin today's post:"Across each population with different kinds of ascertainment, there was a consistent and statistically significant increased prevalence of IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] in patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] than their respective controls and nationally reported rates for pediatric IBD."That was the conclusion reached in the paper published by Finale Doshi-Velez and colleagues [1] including one very notable name on the authorship list, Is........ Read more »

Doshi-Velez F, Avillach P, Palmer N, Bousvaros A, Ge Y, Fox K, Steinberg G, Spettell C, Juster I, & Kohane I. (2015) Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID: 26218138  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:08 PM
  • 53 views

We can build it better: The first artificial ribosome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell. The engineered ribosome may enable the production of new drugs and next-generation biomaterials and lead to a better understanding of how ribosomes function.... Read more »

Orelle, C., Carlson, E., Szal, T., Florin, T., Jewett, M., & Mankin, A. (2015) Protein synthesis by ribosomes with tethered subunits. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14862  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 07:48 PM
  • 42 views

Prostate cancer is 5 different diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer Research UK scientists have for the first time identified that there are five distinct types of prostate cancer and found a way to distinguish between them, according to a landmark study. The findings could have important implications for how doctors treat prostate cancer in the future, by identifying tumours that are more likely to grow and spread aggressively through the body.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 02:09 PM
  • 52 views

The “Invisible Web” Undermines Health Information Privacy

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

What do the third parties do with your data? We do not really know because the laws and regulations are rather fuzzy here. We do know that Google, Facebook and Twitter primarily make money by advertising so they could potentially use your info and customize the ads you see. Just because you visited a page on breast cancer does not mean that the "Invisible Web" knows your name and address but they do know that you have some interest in breast cancer. It would make financial sense to sen........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 10:30 AM
  • 51 views

It’s 11 PM, Do You Know Where Your Organs Are?

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

It’s a miracle that a human body ever works like it’s supposed to. So many things can go wrong and there’s so few ways for things to be right. Ever hear of a defect called situs ambiguus? It’s a big problem. And what’s more, when something like transposition of the great arteries occurs, it’s only a second defect that keeps the patients alive.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 09:39 AM
  • 45 views

Video Tip of the Week: PathWhiz for Pathways, Part II

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s tip is a follow-up to the PathWhiz one featured last week. After I had finished writing that one, the second video in the series became available. It has a lot more detail on how to work with the tool. I’m not going to go into the introduction here again, you can flip back […]... Read more »

Pon, A., Jewison, T., Su, Y., Liang, Y., Knox, C., Maciejewski, A., Wilson, M., & Wishart, D. (2015) Pathways with PathWhiz. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(W1). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv399  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 49 views

Should Vets Give Treats to Pets?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Do treats at the vet mean fewer bites and a less fearful pet? Many companion animals are scared of visits to the vet. There is an established procedure for treating fear called desensitization and counter-conditioning (DS/CC) which involves feeding nice food in order to make something less scary. Yet many vets do not give treats to animals. A new paper by Karolina Westlund (Karolinska Institute) considers this reluctance, and looks at the evidence for and against.Westlund says, “Veterinarians ........ Read more »

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