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

Concept: The Reader


The current study investigated whether fiction experiences change empathy of the reader. Based on transportation theory, it was predicted that when people read fiction, and they are emotionally transported into the story, they become more empathic. Two experiments showed that empathy was influenced over a period of one week for people who read a fictional story, but only when they were emotionally transported into the story. No transportation led to lower empathy in both studies, while study 1 showed that high transportation led to higher empathy among fiction readers. These effects were not found for people in the control condition where people read non-fiction. The study showed that fiction influences empathy of the reader, but only under the condition of low or high emotional transportation into the story.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Fiction, Novel, Empathy, Emotion, The Reader, Short story


The advances in micro- and nanofabrication technologies enable the preparation of increasingly smaller mechanical transducers capable of detecting the forces, motion, mechanical properties and masses that emerge in biomolecular interactions and fundamental biological processes. Thus, biosensors based on nanomechanical systems have gained considerable relevance in the last decade. This review provides insight into the mechanical phenomena that occur in suspended mechanical structures when either biological adsorption or interactions take place on their surface. This review guides the reader through the parameters that change as a consequence of biomolecular adsorption: mass, surface stress, effective Young’s modulus and viscoelasticity. The mathematical background needed to correctly interpret the output signals from nanomechanical biosensors is also outlined here. Other practical issues reviewed are the immobilization of biomolecular receptors on the surface of nanomechanical systems and methods to attain that in large arrays of sensors. We then describe some relevant realizations of biosensor devices based on nanomechanical systems that harness some of the mechanical effects cited above. We finally discuss the intrinsic detection limits of the devices and the limitation that arises from non-specific adsorption.

Concepts: Mass, Materials science, Young's modulus, Elasticity, Sensors, The Reader, Surface chemistry, Biosensor


The prospect of speed reading-reading at an increased speed without any loss of comprehension-has undeniable appeal. Speed reading has been an intriguing concept for decades, at least since Evelyn Wood introduced her Reading Dynamics training program in 1959. It has recently increased in popularity, with speed-reading apps and technologies being introduced for smartphones and digital devices. The current article reviews what the scientific community knows about the reading process-a great deal-and discusses the implications of the research findings for potential students of speed-reading training programs or purchasers of speed-reading apps. The research shows that there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy. It is unlikely that readers will be able to double or triple their reading speeds (e.g., from around 250 to 500-750 words per minute) while still being able to understand the text as well as if they read at normal speed. If a thorough understanding of the text is not the reader’s goal, then speed reading or skimming the text will allow the reader to get through it faster with moderate comprehension. The way to maintain high comprehension and get through text faster is to practice reading and to become a more skilled language user (e.g., through increased vocabulary). This is because language skill is at the heart of reading speed.

Concepts: Understanding, The Reader, Reading, Speed reading, Words per minute, Evelyn Wood


The aim is to inform the reader on the recent advancements in the minimally invasive treatment of chylothorax.

Concepts: Minimally invasive, The Reader


Zone 1 flexor tendon avulsion and laceration injuries are commonly managed by plastic surgeons. These injuries are traditionally repaired using the button pullout technique originally described by Bunnell in 1940. The morbidity related to this method is well documented and this has lead to the development of alternative repair methods. These include modifications of the pullout button technique, internal suture techniques and more recently techniques using bone anchors. However, at present no one technique has been shown to be superior to the others either in terms of outcome or low complication rates. This review examines the published techniques for dealing with these injuries with a view to providing the reader with the available outcome data for each repair type.

Concepts: Collagen, Surgery, The Reader


The central aim of this study was to clarify whether sign language (SL) nativeness is a significant factor in determining prelingually deaf individuals' reading skills and whether its contribution is modified by the reader’s orthographic background. A second aim was to elucidate similarities and differences between native and nonnative signers in processing written information at different processing levels to understand how SL nativeness sustains the reading process, if at all. Participants were 176 students with prelingual deafness recruited from 2 education levels (6th-7th graders and 9th-10th graders) and 3 orthographic backgrounds (Hebrew, German, and Turkish). Sixty-six students were native and the remainder nonnative signers. They were tested with a battery of 8 experimental paradigms, each assessing their information processing skills in a specific reading-related or reading-unrelated domain. Findings corroborate SL nativeness enhancing the reading process in some regard. However, its contribution was not found to scaffold the structural processing of a written text to turn reading into a tool for learning. Rather, gains were restricted to facilitating processing written words from a perceptual to a conceptual level. Evidence suggests that compared with other determining factors, the contribution of SL nativeness to proficient reading may be rather marginal.

Concepts: Education, Educational psychology, Hearing impairment, Linguistics, Deaf culture, Orthography, The Reader, Prelingual deafness


A new method is proposed to generate text material for assessing maximum reading speed of adult readers. The described procedure allows one to generate a vast number of equivalent short sentences. These sentences can be displayed for different durations in order to determine the reader’s maximum speed using a psychophysical threshold algorithm. Each sentence is built so that it is either true or false according to common knowledge. The actual reading is verified by asking the reader to determine the truth value of each sentence. We based our design on the generator described by Crossland et al. and upgraded it. The new generator handles concepts distributed in an ontology, which allows an easy determination of the sentences' truth value and control of lexical and psycholinguistic parameters. In this way many equivalent sentence can be generated and displayed to perform the measurement. Maximum reading speed scores obtained with pseudo-randomly chosen sentences from the generator were strongly correlated with maximum reading speed scores obtained with traditional MNREAD sentences (r = .836). Furthermore, the large number of sentences that can be generated makes it possible to perform repeated measurements, since the possibility of a reader learning individual sentences is eliminated. Researchers interested in within-reader performance variability could use the proposed method for this purpose.

Concepts: Truth, Knowledge, The Reader, Proposition, Fuzzy logic, Reader, Kate Winslet, True


Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of research describing the relationship between brain β-amyloidosis as measured by PET imaging using (11)C-Pittsburgh compound B(1) or florbetapir.(2) Two articles(3,4) in this issue of Neurology® add additional observations. The purpose of this editorial is to describe a conceptual model of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathophysiology that enables the reader to put the current findings into perspective.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Neuron, Positron emission tomography, Neuroimaging, Neurology, Neurodegenerative disorders, The Current, The Reader


This article provides an overview of the early Mimosa pudica literature; much of which is in journals not easily accessible to the reader. In contrast to the contemporary plant learning literature which is conducted primarily by plant biologists, this early literature was conducted by comparative psychologists whose goal was to search for the generality of learning phenomena such as habituation, and classical conditioning using experimental designs based on animal conditioning studies. In addition to reviewing the early literature, we hope to encourage collaborations between plant biologists and comparative psychologists by familiarizing the reader with issues in the study of learning faced by those working with animals. These issues include no consistent definition of learning phenomena and an overreliance on the use of cognition. We suggested that greater collaborative efforts be made between plant biologists and comparative psychologists if the study of plant learning is to be fully intergraded into the mainstream behavior theory.

Concepts: Psychology, Plant, Animal, Cultural studies, Behaviorism, Collaboration, The Reader, Mimosa pudica


The fields of biomedical nanotechnology and theranostics have enjoyed exponential growth in recent years. The “Molecular Imaging in Nanotechnology and Theranostics” (MINT) Interest Group of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) was created in order to provide a more organized and focused forum on these topics within the WMIS and at the World Molecular Imaging Conference (WMIC). The interest group was founded in 2015 and was officially inaugurated during the 2016 WMIC. The overarching goal of MINT is to bring together the many scientists who work on molecular imaging approaches using nanotechnology and those that work on theranostic agents. MINT therefore represents scientists, labs, and institutes that are very diverse in their scientific backgrounds and areas of expertise, reflecting the wide array of materials and approaches that drive these fields. In this short review, we attempt to provide a condensed overview over some of the key areas covered by MINT. Given the breadth of the fields and the given space constraints, we have limited the coverage to the realm of nanoconstructs, although theranostics is certainly not limited to this domain. We will also focus only on the most recent developments of the last 3-5 years, in order to provide the reader with an intuition of what is “in the pipeline” and has potential for clinical translation in the near future.

Concepts: The Key, World, Field, Exponential growth, The Reader, Place name disambiguation pages, Theranostics, Predictive medicine