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

Concept: Cultural studies


Long-term survival has been one of the most studied of the extraordinary physiological characteristics of cryptobiosis in micrometazoans such as nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. In the available studies of long-term survival of micrometazoans, instances of survival have been the primary observation, and recovery conditions of animals or subsequent reproduction are generally not reported. We therefore documented recovery conditions and reproduction immediately following revival of tardigrades retrieved from a frozen moss sample collected in Antarctica in 1983 and stored at -20°C for 30.5 years. We recorded recovery of two individuals and development of a separate egg of the Antarctic tardigrade, Acutuncus antarcticus, providing the longest records of survival for tardigrades as animals or eggs. One of the two resuscitated individuals and the hatchling successfully reproduced repeatedly after their recovery from long-term cryptobiosis. This considerable extension of the known length of long-term survival of tardigrades recorded in our study is interpreted as being associated with the minimum oxidative damage likely to have resulted from storage under stable frozen conditions. The long recovery times of the revived tardigrades observed is suggestive of the requirement for repair of damage accrued over 30 years of cryptobiosis. Further more detailed studies will improve understanding of mechanisms and conditions underlying the long-term survival of cryptobiotic organisms.

Concepts: Arthropod, Cultural studies, Tardigrade, Trehalose, Antarctica, Cryptobiosis, Antarctic Circle, Antarctic


Sitting behaviours have been linked with increased risk of all-cause mortality independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Previous studies have tended to examine single indicators of sitting or all sitting behaviours combined. This study aims to enhance the evidence base by examining the type-specific prospective associations of four different sitting behaviours as well as total sitting with the risk of all-cause mortality.

Concepts: Epidemiology, PH, Dustin Thomason, Cultural studies, Whitehall Study, Social determinants of health


Winning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate that the effect holds only when winning means performing better than others (i.e., determined in reference to others) but not when success is determined by chance or in reference to a personal goal. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that a possible mechanism underlying the effect is an enhanced sense of entitlement among competition winners.

Concepts: English-language films, Demonstration, Cultural studies, Human behavior, Theft, Dishonesty, Intrinsic value


Some studies have pointed out that several dietary patterns could be associated with a reduced risk of depression among adults. This association seems to be consistent across countries, cultures and populations. The objective of the study was to compare and to establish the type of relationship between three diet quality scores and depression in the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) Cohort study.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Research methods, Biology, Sociology, Cultural studies


The preservation and understanding of cultural heritage depends increasingly on in-depth chemical studies. Rapid technological advances are forging connections between scientists and arts communities, enabling revolutionary new techniques for non-invasive technical study of culturally significant, highly prized artworks. We have applied a non-invasive, rapid, high definition X-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental mapping technique to a French Impressionist painting using a synchrotron radiation source, and show how this technology can advance scholarly art interpretation and preservation. We have obtained detailed technical understanding of a painting which could not be resolved by conventional techniques. Here we show 31.6 megapixel scanning XRF derived elemental maps and report a novel image processing methodology utilising these maps to produce a false colour representation of a “hidden” portrait by Edgar Degas. This work provides a cohesive methodology for both imaging and understanding the chemical composition of artworks, and enables scholarly understandings of cultural heritage, many of which have eluded conventional technologies. We anticipate that the outcome from this work will encourage the reassessment of some of the world’s great art treasures.

Concepts: X-ray fluorescence, Cultural studies, Technology, Drawing, Impressionism, Edgar Degas


Previous meta-analyses comparing the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for depression were clouded by a limited number of within-study treatment comparisons. This study used network meta-analysis, a novel methodological approach that integrates direct and indirect evidence from randomised controlled studies, to re-examine the comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for adult depression.

Concepts: Comparison, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Meta-analysis, Publication bias, Cultural studies, Direct examination


According to a “parasite stress” hypothesis, authoritarian governments are more likely to emerge in regions characterized by a high prevalence of disease-causing pathogens. Recent cross-national evidence is consistent with this hypothesis, but there are inferential limitations associated with that evidence. We report two studies that address some of these limitations, and provide further tests of the hypothesis. Study 1 revealed that parasite prevalence strongly predicted cross-national differences on measures assessing individuals' authoritarian personalities, and this effect statistically mediated the relationship between parasite prevalence and authoritarian governance. The mediation result is inconsistent with an alternative explanation for previous findings. To address further limitations associated with cross-national comparisons, Study 2 tested the parasite stress hypothesis on a sample of traditional small-scale societies (the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample). Results revealed that parasite prevalence predicted measures of authoritarian governance, and did so even when statistically controlling for other threats to human welfare. (One additional threat-famine-also uniquely predicted authoritarianism.) Together, these results further substantiate the parasite stress hypothesis of authoritarianism, and suggest that societal differences in authoritarian governance result, in part, from cultural differences in individuals' authoritarian personalities.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural studies, Political philosophy, Society, Authoritarianism, Authoritarian personality


Public confidence in genetically modified (GM) crop studies is tenuous at best in many countries, including those of the European Union in particular. A lack of information about the effects of ties between academic research and industry might stretch this confidence to the breaking point. We therefore performed an analysis on a large set of research articles (n = 672) focusing on the efficacy or durability of GM Bt crops and ties between the researchers carrying out these studies and the GM crop industry. We found that ties between researchers and the GM crop industry were common, with 40% of the articles considered displaying conflicts of interest (COI). In particular, we found that, compared to the absence of COI, the presence of a COI was associated with a 50% higher frequency of outcomes favorable to the interests of the GM crop company. Using our large dataset, we were able to propose possible direct and indirect mechanisms behind this statistical association. They might notably include changes of authorship or funding statements after the results of a study have been obtained and a choice in the topics studied driven by industrial priorities.

Concepts: Scientific method, Statistics, European Union, Research, English language, Cultural studies, Research and development


Studies examining the relation of information processing speed, as measured by reaction time, with mortality are scarce. We explored these associations in a representative sample of the US population.

Concepts: Sample, Mortality rate, Sample size, Sampling, Demography, Information, Cultural studies, Major


The ActiPatch(®) (BioElectronics Corporation, MD, USA) pulsed shortwave therapy device has been shown to be clinically effective in three double-blind randomized controlled pain studies. However, the effectiveness of this device in a broader population of chronic musculoskeletal pain sufferers, affected by a variety of etiologies in different regions of the body, has not been studied.

Concepts: Medicine, Effect, Effectiveness, Pain, Cultural studies, Suffering, Chronic pain, Pain management