Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.


For several decades, myths about the brain - neuromyths - have persisted in schools and colleges, often being used to justify ineffective approaches to teaching. Many of these myths are biased distortions of scientific fact. Cultural conditions, such as differences in terminology and language, have contributed to a ‘gap’ between neuroscience and education that has shielded these distortions from scrutiny. In recent years, scientific communications across this gap have increased, although the messages are often distorted by the same conditions and biases as those responsible for neuromyths. In the future, the establishment of a new field of inquiry that is dedicated to bridging neuroscience and education may help to inform and to improve these communications.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Critical thinking, Education, Social sciences, Higher education, School, Teacher


Excess body weight, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and certain dietary factors are individually related to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk; however, little is known about their joint effects. The aim of this study was to develop a healthy lifestyle index (HLI) composed of five potentially modifiable lifestyle factors - healthy weight, physical activity, non-smoking, limited alcohol consumption and a healthy diet, and to explore the association of this index with CRC incidence using data collected within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Concepts: Health, Epidemiology, Oncology, Nutrition, Obesity, Colorectal cancer, Weight loss, Diet


Post-learning sleep is beneficial for human memory. However, it may be that not all memories benefit equally from sleep. Here, we manipulated a spatial learning task using monetary reward and performance feedback, asking whether enhancing the salience of the task would augment overnight memory consolidation and alter its incorporation into dreaming. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that the addition of reward impaired overnight consolidation of spatial memory. Our findings seemingly contradict prior reports that enhancing the reward value of learned information augments sleep-dependent memory processing. Given that the reward followed a negative reinforcement paradigm, consolidation may have been impaired via a stress-related mechanism.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Sleep, Neuroscience, Memory, Hippocampus, Cognitive neuroscience, Reward system


Little evidence exists on the effect of an energy-unrestricted healthy diet on metabolic syndrome. We evaluated the long-term effect of Mediterranean diets ad libitum on the incidence or reversion of metabolic syndrome.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Evolution, Nutrition, Obesity, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna


 In spring 2014, a sudden rise in the number of notified MERS-Coronavirus infections occurred across Saudi Arabia with a focus in Jeddah. Hypotheses to explain the outbreak pattern include increased surveillance, increased zoonotic transmission, nosocomial transmission, changes in viral transmissibility, as well as diagnostic laboratory artifacts.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, Medina


The immediate instillation of mitomycin after transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is widely used and recommended in the guidelines. Recently it was shown that pre-TURBT intravesical electromotive drug administration (EMDA) of mitomycin reduces the recurrence rate of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Our aim was to describe the pharmacokinetics and patient safety after post-TURBT EMDA.

Concepts: Urology, Urinary bladder, Bladder cancer, Cystitis, Hematuria


Billions of birds are estimated to be killed in window collisions every year, worldwide. A popular solution to this problem may lie in marking the glass with ultraviolet reflective or absorbing patterns, which the birds, but not humans, would see. Elegant as this remedy may seem at first glance, few of its proponents have taken into consideration how stark the contrasts between ultraviolet and human visible light reflections or transmissions must be to be visible to a bird under natural conditions. Complicating matters is that diurnal birds differ strongly in how their photoreceptors absorb ultraviolet and to a lesser degree blue light. We have used a physiological model of avian colour vision to estimate the chromatic contrasts of ultraviolet markings against a natural scene reflected and transmitted by ordinary window glass. Ultraviolets markings may be clearly visible under a range of lighting conditions, but only to birds with a UVS type of ultraviolet vision, such as many passerines. To bird species with the common VS type of vision, ultraviolet markings should only be visible if they produce almost perfect ultraviolet contrasts and are viewed against a scene with low chromatic variation but high ultraviolet content.

Concepts: Human, Mathematics, Light, Bird, Color, Estimation, Visible spectrum, Color vision


In January 2014, the Chicago City Council scheduled a vote on local regulation of electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. One week prior to the vote, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a series of messages about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) through its Twitter account. Shortly after the messages, or tweets, were released, the department’s Twitter account became the target of a “Twitter bomb” by Twitter users sending more than 600 tweets in one week against the proposed regulation.

Concepts: Health economics, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Twitter, Cigarettes


Theoretical advances in the science of consciousness have proposed that it is concomitant with balanced cortical integration and differentiation, enabled by efficient networks of information transfer across multiple scales. Here, we apply graph theory to compare key signatures of such networks in high-density electroencephalographic data from 32 patients with chronic disorders of consciousness, against normative data from healthy controls. Based on connectivity within canonical frequency bands, we found that patient networks had reduced local and global efficiency, and fewer hubs in the alpha band. We devised a novel topographical metric, termed modular span, which showed that the alpha network modules in patients were also spatially circumscribed, lacking the structured long-distance interactions commonly observed in the healthy controls. Importantly however, these differences between graph-theoretic metrics were partially reversed in delta and theta band networks, which were also significantly more similar to each other in patients than controls. Going further, we found that metrics of alpha network efficiency also correlated with the degree of behavioural awareness. Intriguingly, some patients in behaviourally unresponsive vegetative states who demonstrated evidence of covert awareness with functional neuroimaging stood out from this trend: they had alpha networks that were remarkably well preserved and similar to those observed in the controls. Taken together, our findings inform current understanding of disorders of consciousness by highlighting the distinctive brain networks that characterise them. In the significant minority of vegetative patients who follow commands in neuroimaging tests, they point to putative network mechanisms that could support cognitive function and consciousness despite profound behavioural impairment.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Cognition, Consciousness, Graph theory, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Graph, Persistent vegetative state


Like our Moon, the majority of the solar system’s satellites are locked in a 1:1 spin-orbit resonance; on average, these satellites show the same face toward the planet at a constant rotation rate equal to the satellite’s orbital rate. In addition to the uniform rotational motion, physical librations (oscillations about an equilibrium) also occur. The librations may contain signatures of the satellite’s internal properties. Using stereophotogrammetry on Cassini Image Science Subsystem (ISS) images, we measured longitudinal physical forced librations of Saturn’s moon Mimas. Our measurements confirm all the libration amplitudes calculated from the orbital dynamics, with one exception. This amplitude depends mainly on Mimas' internal structure and has an observed value of twice the predicted one, assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. After considering various possible interior models of Mimas, we argue that the satellite has either a large nonhydrostatic interior, or a hydrostatic one with an internal ocean beneath a thick icy shell.

Concepts: Earth, Solar System, Planet, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Orbital resonance, Natural satellite