Shale oil has helped the US see lower gas prices and even an opportunity to start exporting. However, it isn’t as great as it might sound, hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — has been scrutinized by environmentalists since it’s inception. As it turns out, for good reason, substances commonly used for drilling or extracting Marcellus shale gas foamed from the drinking water taps of three Pennsylvania homes near a reported well-pad leak, according to new analysis from a team of........ Read more »
Garth T. Llewellyn, Frank Dorman, J. L. Westland, D. Yoxtheimer, Paul Grieve, Todd Sowers, E. Humston-Fulmer, & Susan L. Brantley. (2015) Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development. PNAS. info:/10.1073/pnas.1420279112
Procrastination is the thief of time that derails New Year’s resolutions and delays saving for college or retirement, but researchers have found a way to collar it.
The trick? Think of the future as now. ... Read more »
Lewis, N., & Oyserman, D. (2015) When Does the Future Begin? Time Metrics Matter, Connecting Present and Future Selves. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615572231
Eat less, workout more, these are the messages we are being sent almost on a daily basis. But how do we quantify “more” and who really should listen to that advice? Well a new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick.... Read more »
Beddhu, S., Wei, G., Marcus, R., Chonchol, M., & Greene, T. (2015) Light-Intensity Physical Activities and Mortality in the United States General Population and CKD Subpopulation. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. DOI: 10.2215/CJN.08410814
Clinics across the United States are advertising stem cell treatments that attempt to take advantage of what they perceive as exceptions in FDA regulations.The therapies in question are adipose-derived autologous stem cell treatments, in which fat cells are removed from a patient, broken down to separate components that purportedly contain stem cells, and are then reinjected into the same patient.... Read more »
Turner, L. (2015) Federal Regulatory Oversight of US Clinics Marketing Adipose-Derived Autologous Stem Cell Interventions: Insights From 3 New FDA Draft Guidance Documents. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 90(5), 567-571. DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.02.003
How can we mimic plant photosynthesis to move to a fossil-free economy? Read here to find out!... Read more »
Sun, K., Saadi, F., Lichterman, M., Hale, W., Wang, H., Zhou, X., Plymale, N., Omelchenko, S., He, J., Papadantonakis, K.... (2015) Stable solar-driven oxidation of water by semiconducting photoanodes protected by transparent catalytic nickel oxide films. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201423034. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1423034112
A new report suggests that a particular class of pesticides called “neonicotinoids” wreaks havoc on the bee populations, ultimately putting some crops that rely on pollination in jeopardy. Specifically, these pesticides kill bee brain cells, rendering them unable to learn, gather food and reproduce. The report, however, also suggests that the effects of these pesticides on bee colonies may be reversible by decreasing or eliminating the use of these pesticides on plants pollinated by bees and........ Read more »
Moffat, C., Pacheco, J., Sharp, S., Samson, A., Bollan, K., Huang, J., Buckland, S., & Connolly, C. (2015) Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). The FASEB Journal. DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-267179
You don’t need a crazy diet to lose weight. In fact, your typical fad diet won’t help you keep weight off long term and could be harming your health. If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.... Read more »
Wansink B. (2013) Convenient, attractive, and normative: the CAN approach to making children slim by design. Childhood obesity (Print), 9(4), 277-8. PMID: 23865529
Repeated alcohol exposure during adolescence results in long-lasting changes in the region of the brain that controls learning and memory, according to a research team at Duke Medicine that used a rodent model as a surrogate for humans. The study provides new insights at the cellular level for how alcohol exposure during adolescence, before the brain is fully developed, can result in cellular and synaptic abnormalities that have enduring, detrimental effects on behavior.... Read more »
Risher, M., Fleming, R., Risher, W., Miller, K., Klein, R., Wills, T., Acheson, S., Moore, S., Wilson, W., Eroglu, C.... (2015) Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure: Persistence of Structural and Functional Hippocampal Abnormalities into Adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1111/acer.12725
There is surprisingly little data on how and when scientists reject hypotheses, but John Fugelsang and Kevin Dunbar at Dartmouth conducted a rather unique study "Theory and data interactions of the scientific mind: Evidence from the molecular and the cognitive laboratory" in 2004 in which they researched researchers. They sat in at scientific laboratory meetings of three renowned molecular biology laboratories at carefully recorded how scientists presented their laboratory data and how........ Read more »
Fugelsang, J., Stein, C., Green, A., & Dunbar, K. (2004) Theory and Data Interactions of the Scientific Mind: Evidence From the Molecular and the Cognitive Laboratory. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 58(2), 86-95. DOI: 10.1037/h0085799
Google searches could unveil patterns in Black mortality rates across the US, according to a new study. Researchers found that those areas with greater levels of racism, as indexed by the proportion of Google searches containing the “n-word,” had higher mortality rates among Blacks. The study is the first to examine an Internet query-based measure of racism in relation to mortality risk.... Read more »
Chae, D., Clouston, S., Hatzenbuehler, M., Kramer, M., Cooper, H., Wilson, S., Stephens-Davidowitz, S., Gold, R., & Link, B. (2015) Association between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality. PLOS ONE, 10(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122963
How will ocean acidification from anthropogenic CO2 emissions affect marine life? Recent work studying a similar time during the Permian extinction 200 million years ago gives a clue.... Read more »
Clarkson MO, Kasemann SA, Wood RA, Lenton TM, Daines SJ, Richoz S, Ohnemueller F, Meixner A, Poulton SW, & Tipper ET. (2015) Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Science (New York, N.Y.), 348(6231), 229-32. PMID: 25859043
A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture. They argue that the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of GMOs. The researchers urge the general public to form opinions on GMOs........ Read more »
Blancke, S., Van Breusegem, F., De Jaeger, G., Braeckman, J., & Van Montagu, M. (2015) Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition. Trends in Plant Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.03.011
When Sandy Hook happened, it was so shocking that to this day, some don’t actually believe it happened. Shortly after, something frustrating happened, the shooter was labeled with aspergers. This helped drive the mental health and violence connection to the point that Time came out with an article dispelling that myth. Even now according to new longitudinal study of delinquent youth, most psychiatric disorders – including depression — do not predict future violent behavior. The only except........ Read more »
Elkington, K., Teplin, L., Abram, K., Jakubowski, J., Dulcan, M., & Welty, L. (2015) Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002
A medication commonly taken for Type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish –or male fish that produce eggs. The study determined exposure to the diabetes medicine metformin causes physical changes in male fish exposed to doses similar to the amount in wastewater effluent.... Read more »
Niemuth, N., & Klaper, R. (2015) Emerging wastewater contaminant metformin causes intersex and reduced fecundity in fish. Chemosphere, 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.060
A funny thing happened on the way to the publisher. In a world first, China has successfully created genetically modified human embryos. It was certainly an amazing piece of science, but the paper was rejected by both Nature and Science. Not because the study was flawed, or because the data was falsified, the paper was rejected for ethical reasons.... Read more »
Liang, P., Xu, Y., Zhang, X., Ding, C., Huang, R., Zhang, Z., Lv, J., Xie, X., Chen, Y., Li, Y.... (2015) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes. Protein . DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5
In 2012 the USA saw the highest number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1955. New research finds that a likely explanation for this rise in disease is a drop in the degree of vaccine protection for each vaccinated individual. The team worked with 60 years of pertussis disease data to determine what best explained the recent increase in the disease.... Read more »
Gambhir M, Clark TA, Cauchemez S, Tartof SY, Swerdlow DL, & Ferguson NM. (2015) A Change in Vaccine Efficacy and Duration of Protection Explains Recent Rises in Pertussis Incidence in the United States. PLOS Computational Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004138
In the largest genetic study to date of a challenging immunodeficiency disorder, scientists have identified a gene that may be a “missing link” between overactive and underactive immune activity. The gene candidate also plays a key role in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even allergies.... Read more »
Li J, Jørgensen SF, Maggadottir SM, Bakay M, Warnatz K, Glessner J, Pandey R, Salzer U, Schmidt RE, Perez E.... (2015) Association of CLEC16A with human common variable immunodeficiency disorder and role in murine B cells. Nature communications, 6804. PMID: 25891430
Five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill changed the trajectory of ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. We take a look at how species have been affected and what we can do to prevent another disaster.... Read more »
Pseudoscience claims about vaccines are seemingly hitting a fever pitch. Despite that, a new vaccine may be on the horizon for children at risk for diabetes, and that is a good thing. Researchers have found that children at risk for type 1 diabetes, who were given daily doses of oral insulin, developed a protective immune response to the disease that could lay the groundwork for a vaccine against the chronic illness.... Read more »
Ezio Bonifacio, PhD, Anette G. Ziegler, MD, Georgeanna Klingensmith, MD, Edith Schober, MD, Polly J. Bingley, MD, Marietta Rottenkolber, Anke Theil, PhD, Anne Eugster, PhD, Ramona Puff, PhD, Claudia Peplow.... (2015) Effects of High-Dose Oral Insulin on Immune Responses in Children at High Risk for Type 1 Diabetes The Pre-POINT Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2015.2928
Jay S. Skyler, MD. (2015) Toward Primary Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes. Journal of American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2015.2054.
While mass media was busy misquoting Stephen Hawking and arguing about black holes, astrophysicists have been hard at work trying to solve still unanswered questions about them. Now a team has not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn’t supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.... Read more »
Thomas J. Whalen, Ryan C. Hickox, Amy E. Reines, Jenny E. Greene, Gregory R. Sivakoff, Kelsey E. Johnson, David M. Alexander, & Andy D. Goulding. (2015) Variable Hard X-ray Emission from the Candidate Accreting Black Hole in Dwarf Galaxy Henize 2-10. The Astrophysical journal . arXiv: 1504.03331v1
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