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Mental disorders do not predict violence, so please stop
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 […]

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 & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54 (4) 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002

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Kids with autism: a highly [psychotropic] medicated group?
"In keeping with international studies this sample of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] was a highly medicated group."So said the results of the study reported by Kerry-Ann Louw and colleagues [1] back in 2013 who noted that approximately one quarter of their cohort were currently in receipt of "psychotropic medications". I don't want to linger too much on this topic given that such findings tally with other peer-reviewed reports including those with much larger […]

Louw KA, Bentley J, Sorsdahl K & Adnams CM (2013). Prevalence and patterns of medication use in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders in the Western Cape, South Africa., Journal of child and adolescent mental health, 25 (1) 69-79. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25860309

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Diabetes drug found in freshwater potential cause of intersex fish
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. “In […]

Niemuth, N. & Klaper, R. (2015). Emerging wastewater contaminant metformin causes intersex and reduced fecundity in fish, Chemosphere, 135 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.060

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Classic Story, A City Corpse Meets a Country Corpse
I’ve been indulging in a little HGTV this week as a way to recover from post-conference exhaustion. I know that shows like House Hunters aren’t real- they already have bought […]

Redfern, R., DeWitte, S., Pearce, J., Hamlin, C. & Dinwiddy, K. (2015). Urban-rural differences in Roman Dorset, England: A bioarchaeological perspective on Roman settlements, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157 (1) 107-120. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22693

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DSM-5 impacting on autism numbers
"Consistent with previous reviews, the majority of included studies indicated between 50 and 75 % of individuals will maintain diagnoses."That was one of the conclusions reached by Isaac Smith and colleagues [1] following their systematic review of studies comparing DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what the changes mean for eligibility for the label.Authors further reported that: "the greatest decreases [were] among high-functioning populations with IQs over […]

Smith IC, Reichow B & Volkmar FR (2015). The Effects of DSM-5 Criteria on Number of Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25796195

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Scientists create worlds first genetically modified human embryos
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 scientific testing, but the paper was rejected by both Nature and Science, not because the study was flawed, or because the data was falsified, but for ethical […]

Liang, P., Xu, Y., Zhang, X., Ding, C., Huang, R., Zhang, Z., Lv, J., Xie, X., Chen, Y., Li, Y. & Sun, Y. (2015). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes, Protein & Cell, DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5

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Whooping cough: A small drop in vaccine protection can lead to a case upsurge
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 […]

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, Other:

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Two Species of Cottonmouths? This Scientist Says Yes!
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Burbrink, F. T. & Guiher, T. J. (2015). Considering gene flow when using coalescent methods to delimit lineages of North American pitvipers of the genus Agkistrodon, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 173 (2) 505-526.

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Men and boys with older sisters are less competitive
One of the longest-debated and most studied issues in psychology is whether and how our personalities are affected by our birth order and the sex of our siblings. A problem with much previous research is that it's depended on people self-reporting their own personality, or on siblings or parents providing the personality ratings. These ratings are prone to subjectivity and skewed by people's expectations about how, say, a younger sibling ought to behave.A new study focused on one particular […]

Okudaira, H., Kinari, Y., Mizutani, N., Ohtake, F. & Kawaguchi, A. (2015). Older sisters and younger brothers: The impact of siblings on preference for competition, Personality and Individual Differences, 82 81-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.02.037

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Researchers find genetic link between overactive and underactive immune systems
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. The researchers analyzed common variable […]

Li J, Jørgensen SF, Maggadottir SM, Bakay M, Warnatz K, Glessner J, Pandey R, Salzer U, Schmidt RE, Perez E & Resnick E (2015). Association of CLEC16A with human common variable immunodeficiency disorder and role in murine B cells., Nature communications, 6 6804. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25891430

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