Deprived of Love

On Thursday, 19 May, I wrote a post for The Conversation. It was about child health, orphanages, love and the lack of it. As of this morning more than a quarter of million people have read it. I am humbled. My colleague and friend Patrick Clarkin reposted it on his blog and added further notes on how love is a key ingredient for health. I am starting to answer some emails and comments arising from the article. I will blog more on this after having a more accurate idea of the nature of the comments. Thanks to everyone reading my post. Thanks Patrick for adding to it.

Patrick F. Clarkin, Ph.D.

Human biologist (and friend) Inês Varela-Silva  wrote the following essay: “Can a lack of love be deadly?”It’s currently the most-read post at “The Conversation.” As she wrote:

“Deprivation comes in many shapes and forms: lack of food, diseases, maltreatment, and child abuse are some of the harms that come to mind. However, I would argue that deprivation of love can be just as deadly.”

I think she’s right. We take it for granted that kids need nutrients and a life relatively free from infection. But perhaps we sometimes overlook the idea that psychosocial deprivation is also inherently stressful. Please read the rest of her essay, where she discusses some of the history behind this research, human resilience and the ability to overcome early deprivation, and the personal side of things with the adoption of her daughter. 


The Power of Love

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Today I run, and my uterus didn’t fall out



Today I went for a run. Just 5km, at a leisurely pace. While running, I kept thinking of a video I just had seen on Facebook, featuring Kathrine Switzer who, in 1967, decided to enter and run in The Boston Marathon.  She faced an outrage of verbal abuse and assault, but she finished the damned thing and her courage and determination paved the way to all long-distance women runners ever since.

The arguments against her running were that long-distance running would make her uterus fall out, she would grow a moustache, and a hairy chest would develop. This statements, mostly discredited in our days (but some of them still lingering in lighter versions), belong to a long list of myths, distorted ideas, and generalised ignorance about biology in general and women’s reproductive system in particular. However, they are all rooted in ferouscious male-based needs to control women’s bodies, their reproductive lives and, overall, maintaining a status quo of male dominance.

Well, Kathrine, I salute you and I bow to you. Above all, I thank you, for being so brave and for being such an awesome role model. I doubly enjoyed my run today because I kept thinking of you.

My uterus didn’t fall out, I don’t see any hair sprouting from my chest, and my Mediterranean moustache is trimmed and under control.


Research outputs. What to do with them?


This post constitutes another attempt to find the perfect way to make the most out of my research outputs. It started almost a year ago when I posted Congratulations. Your paper has just been published! Now, tell the word about that.  Some details have changed since that post. I am now using Visual CV as my anchor-online CV, with which I am much happier. An additional change, that provides a great boost in my organisation efforts, is that I am using Mindmeister to plan, plot, draft, and make sure I don’t miss a beat in the endless effort of increasing my h-index score.

Mindmeister is so awesome I almost have no words to describe it. We can plan anything easily and neatly and, afterwards, when we are happy with it we can export the output in many formats. The hidden beauty of it (but the one that doesn’t come for free) is that when exporting to WORD or PDF  we not only get the diagram, but also the full layout converted into sections and bullet points. My PhD students and I have been using MindMeister to do their research planning. When we are done with it they basically have their methods chapter written.

The example I am giving here today – because I am so attached to the idea of finding a perfect way to disseminate my research –  is, unsurprisingly, my Mindmeister Plan that shows, in detail, all the steps I follow to record, store, and disseminate anything I do research wise. See below the diagram and note that the notes connect with the hyperlinks. The added bonus is the file that it generates. See it here (Research_output WORD file).




Which site is better for sharing the research: Comparing vs

This post comparing ResearchGate and complements greatly my post “Congratulations your paper has just been published. Now tell the world about it“.



Hello Everyone,

I am a young researcher and like everyone else, I am also interested in making my research more visible and connecting with other fellow researchers. The two major social networking sites for sharing academic research are and It will be interesting to find out which site is better for sharing research papers. I did join these two networking sites and uploaded my papers and analyze theses two sites for around 20-30 days. The papers which were uploaded are almost the same. I give them points for certain important services such as making profiles, simplicity and easy handling of the sites, help section, sharing and tagging papers, visibility of the research, connecting with peers, interaction process, credibility of the provided research papers

  1. Joining and making profile

Both are sites are quite similar with joining these sites. providing logging in with google and facebook account on the…

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