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The revolution in managing chronic pain

What is pain and why does it sometimes persist? In this week’s podcast, South Australian pain scientist Lorimer Moseley will surprise you about the real cause of chronic pain and what this understanding means for its treatment.

Moseley, the Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of South Australia, is helping to develop ways to help people control their pain through scientific understandings of its mechanisms.

The good news is that these techniques can – over time – reduce or even remove pain for some chronic sufferers.

“There’s a whole new sense of the possible,” he says.

Source – InDaily

Tyrannosaurus rex was a sensitive lover

I could say that I have posted this because I still maintain a child like fascination with dinosaurs – which I still do actually have. But in reality I just wanted an excuse to post the accompanying cartoon I found.

t-rex-pull-my-hair

It made its name by terrorising Earth at the end of the Late Cretaceous, but Tyrannosaurus rex had a sensitive side too, researchers have found.

The fearsome carnivore, which stood 20 feet tall and ripped its prey to shreds with dagger-like teeth, had a snout as sensitive to touch as human fingertips, say scientists.

T rex and other tyrannosaurs would have used their tactile noses to explore their surroundings, build nests, and carefully pick up fragile eggs and baby offspring.

More here – The Guardian

The Bayesian Trap

The last two minutes is particularly useful about updating internal beliefs.

 


 

The Astonishing Vision and Focus of Namibia’s Nomads

Nestled in a grassy valley of north-western Namibia, Opuwo may seem like a crumbling relic of colonial history. With a population of just 12,000, the town is so small that it would take less than a minute to drive from the road sign on one side of town to the shanty villages on other. Along the way, you would see a hotchpotch collection of administrative offices, a couple of schools, a hospital and a handful of supermarkets and petrol stations.

For many of the people living in the surrounding valley, however, this small town is also the first taste of modern life. The capital of the Kunene region, Opuwo lies in the heartland of the Himba people, a semi-nomadic people who spend their days herding cattle. Long after many of the world’s other indigenous populations had begun to migrate to cities, the Himba had mostly avoided contact with modern culture, quietly continuing their traditional life. But that is slowly changing, with younger generations feeling the draw of Opuwo, where they will encounter cars, brick buildings, and writing for the first time.

More here – BBC – Future

Are market bubbles caused by traders’ testosterone levels?

Research conducted at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has determined that psychological momentum significantly affects performance among men but not among women, which may account for exaggerated risk-taking in financial and business endeavors among males.

Psychological momentum is defined as a state-of-mind where an individual or a team feels things are going unstoppably their way and is known to be caused, among other factors, by shifts in testosterone levels. The study, “Psychological Momentum and Gender,” is published in the March volume of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

According to Dr. Danny Cohen-Zada, a lecturer in the BGU Department of Economics, “The purpose of our study was twofold: to estimate the causal effect of psychological momentum on performance in real tournament settings, and to examine whether there are any gender differences in the corresponding response.”

More here – Eureka Alert

What You See Is Not What You Get


 

John Arnold Made a Fortune at Enron. Now He’s Declared War on Bad Science

Brian Nosek had pretty much given up on finding a funder. For two years he had sent out grant proposals for his software project. And for two years they had been rejected again and again—which was, by 2011, discouraging but not all that surprising to the 38-year-old scientist. An associate professor at the University of Virginia, Nosek had made a name for himself in a hot subfield of social psychology, studying people’s unconscious biases. But that’s not what this project was about. At least, not exactly.

Like a number of up-and-coming researchers in his generation, Nosek was troubled by mounting evidence that science itself—through its systems of publication, funding, and advancement—had become biased toward generating a certain kind of finding: novel, attention grabbing, but ultimately unreliable. The incentives to produce positive results were so great, Nosek and others worried, that some scientists were simply locking their inconvenient data away.

The problem even had a name: the file drawer effect. And Nosek’s project was an attempt to head it off at the pass. He and a graduate student were developing an online system that would allow researchers to keep a public log of the experiments they were running, where they could register their hypotheses, methods, workflows, and data as they worked. That way, it would be harder for them to go back and cherry-pick their sexiest data after the fact—and easier for other researchers to come in and replicate the experiment later.

More here – Wired

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