Tag Archives: Research

rePost::Super Strength Substance (Myostatin) One Step Closer to Human Trials | Singularity Hub

As with all animals we’ve seen with myostatin inhibition, the monkeys at NCH enjoyed some serious boosts in strength. The macaques exhibited enhanced muscle growth for 12 weeks after treatment, beyond which muscle mass stabilized. The average circumference of the animals quadriceps increased by 15%. Using electric stimulation (you can’t order a monkey to lift weights) scientists were able to observe profound increases in leg strength. One specimen demonstrated a 78% increase over control results.

The next step for NCH is toxicology and biodistribution tests as outlined by the FDA. After that, further rounds of testing will be necessary before human clinical trials can begin. Still, considering the lack of negative side effects, and the profound need from the Muscular Dystrophy community, one hopes that those trials will begin in the next few years. If ultimately successful, follistatin gene therapy could treat the symptoms of MD while different genetic therapies could affect the causes of some forms of MD. And let’s not forget the weight-lifting 800 pound gorilla in the room. Along with MD treatments, and therapies for muscle loss in old age, the defeat of myostatin could lead to an effective way for all of us to get fit fast. No workouts necessary, eat almost all you want, and have a body like Adonis. This research is taking us one step closer to that goal…but it still sounds too good to be true. We can’t all be Superman, can we?

via Super Strength Substance (Myostatin) One Step Closer to Human Trials | Singularity Hub.

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Learned Today::An Easy Way to Increase Creativity: Scientific American

I experienced somethign similar to this whenever I go somewhere i haven’t been to before. I feel a surge of creativity , lots of ideas flood my brain and in someways I either feel happy/ or at least too occupied to feel anything else instead of curiosity, and the incredible possibilities of life!

This research has important practical implications. It suggests that there are several simple steps we can all take to increase creativity, such as traveling to faraway places (or even just thinking about such places), thinking about the distant future, communicating with people who are dissimilar to us, and considering unlikely alternatives to reality. Perhaps the modern environment, with its increased access to people, sights, music, and food from faraway places, helps us become more creative not only by exposing us to a variety of styles and ideas, but also by allowing us to think more abstractly. So the next time you’re stuck on a problem that seems impossible don’t give up. Instead, try to gain a little psychological distance, and pretend the problem came from somewhere very far away.

via An Easy Way to Increase Creativity: Scientific American.

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Knowledge Seeks To Be Free::Walking Randomly » The ridiculous high prices of online journal articles.

One of the many things that I miss in being a student is the access all the IEEE journals through UP’s academic access. Nothing seems more against the principle of the academe than the way that research isn’t propagated because of cost. See I am interested in alot of things , this is because of an intense curiosity that tries to seek out as much knowledge as my little brain can grok. One of the themes that continously arises is how much progress made in the sciences are due to lateral or expansive grasp of present knowledge.

I use lateral in the way that alot of progress is due to connecting various seemingly independet events into a theory that explains both. I put Einstein’s theories in this category.

The expansive grasp means knowing all the pertinent techniques with respect to your problem. If you read Feynman‘s Nobel Lecture you see whaI mean here. He had a claim that(probably true) that he knew everything about the problem he was trying to solve, which help him connect the dots on the different approaches to the same problem.

Both of these are negatively impacted by the high cost of journals. The amateur/hobbyist is doubly affected , and what are most of us in fields that we are not actively trying to research further are we? Most of us are not experts in everything and some of us  (including me) are not even expert in anything.  How much progress is not being made because information is not readily available?

If this is a simple case of “It’s always been done like this!”, then I think we need to rethink this. In a way science has progressed. During the time of newton or darwin  they rarely collaborated with fellows, but we have progressed far faster because of openly available information. The thing is we are moving ever faster towrds an age where science would either stagnate or reach a point that people call a singularity. Stagnation means that there would be a return to malthus and that is something we cannot let happen, this for me means that we have a duty to ourselves and those that come after us to make sure that the future is aor near the singularity. This calls for cheaper if not free flow of information!

The ridiculous high prices of online journal articles.

I’m a lucky guy! I work for a major UK University and one of the perks of the job is that I (along with every other member of the University) get access to a massive array of academic journals and this is close to priceless as far as I am concerned. I’d rather take a salary cut than lose that particular perk (shhhh, don’t mention this to my bosses) and I don’t even do any formal research!

I have been blogging for almost two years now and one thing I have learned from the whole experience is that the world contains legions of amateur scholars – people who do research for personal rather than professional reasons. These scholars (and I like to think I am one of them) don’t want to publish papers or get qualifications, they simply want to learn about and discuss whatever subject takes their fancy. In my case I focus on subjects such as mathematics and physics since they are (and always have been) the subjects that float my boat and they are also the subjects I studied both at school and at University.

via Walking Randomly » The ridiculous high prices of online journal articles..

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How To Help The Quezon City Public Library

I buy and read a lot of books,  my friends read and buy a lot of books. I’ve mostly weaned myslef from needing to own the books, I only have a handful of books  consider keepers and most are books that you read once or twice and pass on. This prompted us to think of creating a mini library where we could donate our books, and maybe solicit books from friends.  This “dream” is still far from happening too many things have to fall right into place. The depressed me trying to cheer myself up found myslef googling public libraries in qc. found the site for the city’s public library volunteers and I think that this is good enough for now.

Hope I can really volunteer some time and mind power in trying to do my share in trying to improve whatever can be improved etc etc.

I usually treat people when I’m depressed, think this is more productive.

(Fuck I am wallowing in self pity damn!)

Ways to help the library

Posted by qcpl on July 21, 2008

The library, especially the branch libraries, are always in need of volunteers and supporters. Here are some ways you can help.

Adopt a branch library

a. Donate computers

The Main Library and Novaliches Branch are now fully computerized. The said libraries have an OPAC (online computer access catalog), 2 mbps internet connection, 7 computer units for academic research and free encoding for public elementary and high school students. We wish to replicate this to the remaining 19 branches.

You may donate working computers or support by donating any amount of money that will be used to purchase necessary equipment.

P 30,000 covers 1 computer unit

P 1, 000 covers 1 month subscription to the internet

P 7,000 covers 1 dot matrix printer

P 325 covers 1 ink for dot matrix printer

P 200 covers 1 ream of paper

Any amount, when pooled together will go a long way to help the library users in their research and academic needs.

We have prepared a feasibility study on the benefits of an interconnected library here.

b. Donate books

We want also our branch libraries to be complete in the best books, not just children books and textbooks.

To know what are the library’s present collection just go here.

To know what books we need, go here and here.

c. Subscribe to magazines

The main library through the Friends of the Library, subscribes to Time, Newsweek and Reader’s Digest. We hope that through the generosity of the supporters, this will be replicated at the branches.

Be a Volunteer Storyteller or Tutorials Teacher

Teach the students the love for reading. Be a volunteer storyteller for a day. Organize storytelling sessions near schools that will promote a branch library.

Be a teacher for tutorial classes. Subjects will be basic computer skills, information literacy and other school subjects. This program is in the planning stage and is suggested for those who have weekdays to spare. This can be done during Saturdays on the following branches: Main, Novaliches, Project 4 and Galas.

Be a Friend of the Library member

We welcome idealistic and energetic people who want to put their talents to good use whether as a writer, events organizer, fundraiser and friend-raiser to let more people know about what the library is doing.

Thank you very much for your interest and we hope to see you in the future. Please email us at quezoncitypubliclibrary(at)yahoo(dot)com or qcplvolunteers(at)gmail(dot)com

via QCPL Volunteers.

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Learned Today: Feel Not Own part 2:How to Choose Between Experiential and Material Purchases « PsyBlog

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.
Image via Wikipedia

actually read this article first before part one, read both articles, they are short and informative.

When purchases go wrong

The researchers used three experiments to examine this question. In the first two of these participants were randomly assigned to groups in which they recalled material and experiential purchases that had either turned out well, or that had turned out badly. They were then asked how happy (or otherwise) these purchases had made them.

The results suggested that, just like Van Boven and Gilovich’s research, experiential purchases (e.g. a meal out) beat material purchases (e.g. clothes) if each turned out well. But, for some people whose scores were low on a measure of materialism, when the purchases turned out badly, it was the material goods that left them slightly happier. In contrast the highly materialistic were left less happy when their material purchases went wrong.

In a third experiment participants actually made a small experiential versus a small material purchase and then their happiness over time was measured. It was found that when participants made a material purchase that turned out badly it was easier for them to forget about it than an experiential purchase that went wrong.

Across three experiments, then, Nicolao and colleagues found evidence that when our experiential purchases go wrong we are likely to end up slightly less happy than if we had chosen a material purchase. But, as in previous research, when our purchases go well we are likely to end up significantly happier if we choose an experiential rather than a material purchase.

How to Choose Between Experiential and Material Purchases « PsyBlog.

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rePost: Better Press Corp Please:Chris Blattman’s Blog: Heroes are born, not made

Heroes (TV series)
Image via Wikipedia

in the spirit of Brad Delong‘s Why Oh Why Can’t We Have A Better Press Corp!

The article is partly confusing or badly written.

the key paragraph to understand the way the writer tried to sensationalise this is

He said the research could lead to new training programmes – mental therapies or “push-ups” or medications to make others just as good at dealing with extreme stress.

“So much so we’re now getting to the point where we might be able to train people to do better under high stress and there might be ways to augment their hormonal system, mental health push ups might help to better deal with that stress.”

He said that it was not that the “heroes” were not scared but they just did not exhibit signs of panic.

and from the title

Heroes are born not made, scientists claim

Heroes are born not made, a study claims after it found some people just naturally have more grace under fire.

<Emphasis and underline mine>

They should have posted the actual statements of the study. for all we know  Dr Aikins may be claiming this but from my reading of the article he was just saying some people are biologically well suited to handle stress! Maybe i am wrong but I believe i am closer to the truth here!

read the telegraph article here:

Heroes are born, not made

Professor Deane Aikins, a psychiatrist at Yale University, said a small minority of individuals remain cool even in the most stressful circumstances.

His findings, based on research with the military, found that some individuals did not panic because their body naturally protected them.

Unlike the majority of people who were flooded with a stress hormone, they had much lower levels and also showed signs of another hormone that actually calmed them down.

Chris Blattman’s Blog: Heroes are born, not made.

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