Post List

  • November 30, 2015
  • 06:58 PM

Novel insights into genetic cause of autoimmune diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A collaboration between researchers at the Babraham Institute and the University of Manchester has mapped the physical connections occurring in the genome to shed light on the parts of the genome involved in autoimmune diseases. Using a new technique, called Capture Hi-C, the team revealed novel insights into how changes in the genetic sequence have a biological effect and increase the risk of disease.... Read more »

Martin, P., McGovern, A., Orozco, G., Duffus, K., Yarwood, A., Schoenfelder, S., Cooper, N., Barton, A., Wallace, C., Fraser, P.... (2015) Capture Hi-C reveals novel candidate genes and complex long-range interactions with related autoimmune risk loci. Nature Communications, 10069. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10069  

  • November 30, 2015
  • 08:20 AM

A corrosive bacterium that hunts in packs and smells like rain

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Myxobacteria are a strange subset of bacteria known for their ability to glide across solid surfaces (leaving behind trails of slime) and clump together into multicellular swarms that prowl about searching for food. They're pretty cool. Nannocystis exedens (see number 29) is a myxobacterium commonly found in a wide range of soils all over the world.N. exedens obtains food by corroding the cells of bacteria and fungi, causing them to rupture and spill out their nutritious guts (exedens is Latin f........ Read more »

  • November 30, 2015
  • 07:01 AM

How Spicy Would You Like That Chemotherapy?

by Shane Caldwell in Helical Translations

A molecule from chili peppers can be modified to bind to a protein involved in cancer progression. How would a molecule similar to hot pepper spice be used to fight cancer?... Read more »

  • November 30, 2015
  • 04:45 AM

Athlete Expectation Comparison of US Athletes and European Athletes

by Darrell Thompson & Virginia Lintot in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

The culture of a sport or country of origin may influence an athlete’s expectations towards sports medicine professionals during rehabilitation.... Read more »

Arvinen-Barrow M, Clement D, Hamson-Utley JJ, Kaphof C, Zakrajsek R, Lee SM, Hemmings B, Lintunen T, & Martin SB. (2015) Athletes' Expectations About Sport Injury Rehabilitation: A Cross-Cultural Study. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. PMID: 26353160  

  • November 30, 2015
  • 02:47 AM

Health service use, autism and preventative medicine

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Appreciating that the title of this post potentially offers the opportunity to write a long (very long) post, today I'm specifically focusing on two papers. The first by Janet Cummings and colleagues [1] discussing health service use "among youth with and without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)" concluded that yes, young people with autism were more likely to experience health service use than not-autism control populations. Importantly however, was the suggestion that this group were "less li........ Read more »

Cummings JR, Lynch FL, Rust KC, Coleman KJ, Madden JM, Owen-Smith AA, Yau VM, Qian Y, Pearson KA, Crawford PM.... (2015) Health Services Utilization Among Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26547921  

  • November 30, 2015
  • 01:34 AM

Carving Up Brain Disorders

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Neurology and Psychiatry are two distinct specialties within medicine, both of which treat disorders of the brain. It's completely uncontroversial to say that neurologists treat patients with brain disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. These two diseases produce distinct patterns of neurodegeneration that are visible on brain scans. For example, Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder caused by the loss of dopamine neurons in the midbrain.Fig. 3 (modified from Golds........ Read more »

Crossley, N., Scott, J., Ellison-Wright, I., & Mechelli, A. (2015) Neuroimaging distinction between neurological and psychiatric disorders. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 207(5), 429-434. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.154393  

David, A., & Nicholson, T. (2015) Are neurological and psychiatric disorders different?. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 207(5), 373-374. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.158550  

  • November 29, 2015
  • 11:45 PM

Diversity and persistence of group tags under replicator dynamics

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Everyday I walk to the Stabile Research Building to drink espresso and sit in my cozy — although oversaturated with screens — office. Oh, and to chat about research with great people like Arturo Araujo, David Basanta, Jill Gallaher, Jacob Scott, Robert Vander Velde and other Moffitters. This walk to the office takes about 30 […]... Read more »

Jansson, F. (2015) What games support the evolution of an ingroup bias?. Journal of theoretical biology, 100-10. PMID: 25794651  

  • November 29, 2015
  • 03:06 PM

Mental health risk for new dads

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women. Mental health researcher Dr Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women.... Read more »

  • November 29, 2015
  • 01:41 PM

It is possible to develop successful HIV vaccine

by B V Waghmare in HIV virus and antiretroviral drugs and antiAIDS vaccine research and developmets

Antibodies developed in HIV infected individuals do not protect them against further proliferation of HIV, but protect proliferation of HIV in animals.
That means it is possible to develop a vaccine which will completely protect human from HIV infection.... Read more »

B V Waghmare. (2015) HIV Vaccine heading toward success. Combination of HIV neutralizing antibodies and Nanoparticle protien eOD-GT8 60mer are good hope for getting a effective anti HIV vaccine. info:/

  • November 28, 2015
  • 04:25 PM

How early life may influence the way elephants age

by Shermin de Silva in Maximus

Insights from 50 years of records on the reproduction and aging of Myanmar's timber elephants.... Read more »

Clubb, R., Rowcliffe, M., Lee, P., Mar, K., Moss, C., & Mason, G. (2008) Compromised Survivorship in Zoo Elephants. Science, 322(5908), 1649-1649. DOI: 10.1126/science.1164298  

Mumby, H., Mar, K., Thitaram, C., Courtiol, A., Towiboon, P., Min-Oo, Z., Htut-Aung, Y., Brown, J., & Lummaa, V. (2015) Stress and body condition are associated with climate and demography in Asian elephants. Conservation Physiology, 3(1). DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cov030  

de Silva, S., Webber, C., Weerathunga, U., Pushpakumara, T., Weerakoon, D., & Wittemyer, G. (2013) Demographic Variables for Wild Asian Elephants Using Longitudinal Observations. PLoS ONE, 8(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082788  

Mumby, H., Mar, K., Hayward, A., Htut, W., Htut-Aung, Y., & Lummaa, V. (2015) Elephants born in the high stress season have faster reproductive ageing. Scientific Reports, 13946. DOI: 10.1038/srep13946  

  • November 28, 2015
  • 03:20 PM

The silence of the genes, an epigenetic tale

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by Dr. Keiji Tanimoto from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has brought us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In this intriguing event, one copy of a gene is ‘turned off’, or silenced, depending on whether it was derived from the mother or the father.... Read more »

Matsuzaki H, Okamura E, Takahashi T, Ushiki A, Nakamura T, Nakano T, Hata K, Fukamizu A, & Tanimoto K. (2015) De novo DNA methylation through the 5'-segment of the H19 ICR maintains its imprint during early embryogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England), 142(22), 3833-44. PMID: 26417043  

  • November 28, 2015
  • 02:54 AM

Acetylcysteine and autism: another case report

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to spend too long on the findings reported by Danielle Stutzman & Julie Dopheide [1] talking about how: "Treatment with acetylcysteine improved ASD [autism spectrum disorder] symptoms, including irritability and aggression, in a teenage patient" but it is a blog-worthy paper.Describing the experiences of a "7-year-old Hispanic male with ASD and intellectual disability" who was hospitalised due to some rather 'challenging behaviours', the authors noted how the addi........ Read more »

Stutzman D, & Dopheide J. (2015) Acetylcysteine for treatment of autism spectrum disorder symptoms. American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 72(22), 1956-9. PMID: 26541950  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:43 PM

How to Build an Ant Bridge: Start Small

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You know when you're out walking with a big horde of your friends and you come to a chasm you can't step across, so a bunch of you clasp each other's limbs and make yourselves into a bridge for the rest to walk on?


Eciton army ants do this. And they're not the only ants that build incredible structures out of their strong, near-weightless bodies. Weaver ants make chains between leaves by holding onto each other's waists. Fire ants cling together to form rafts and survive floodin........ Read more »

Reid CR, Lutz MJ, Powell S, Kao AB, Couzin ID, & Garnier S. (2015) Army ants dynamically adjust living bridges in response to a cost-benefit trade-off. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26598673  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:05 PM

Synapse discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers led by UNSW Australia scientists has discovered how connections between brain cells are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – work that opens up a new avenue for research on possible treatments for the degenerative brain condition.... Read more »

  • November 27, 2015
  • 09:28 AM

Designer proteins helping biomedicine

by ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

Professor Meiering and her colleagues were able to incorporate both structure and function into the design process by using bioinformatics to leverage information from nature. They then analyzed what they made and measured how long it took for the folded, functional protein to unfold and breakdown... Read more »

Broom A, Ma SM, Xia K, Rafalia H, Trainor K, Colón W, Gosavi S, & Meiering EM. (2015) Designed protein reveals structural determinants of extreme kinetic stability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(47), 14605-10. PMID: 26554002  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 05:52 AM

Biomarkers in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of RCC

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Tumour biomarkers are measurable changes in cancer cells that could be used to improve available therapies. The identification of early biomarkers could increase early diagnosis rates and provide insight into tumour biology including aggressiveness. In addition tumour subtype-specific biomarkers could help identify the treatments most likely to be effective and also be used to measure response. The search for biomarkers in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is an active field, with various types of pote........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:06 AM

Premature mortality and autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Premature mortality was markedly increased in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] owing to a multitude of medical conditions."So said the study by Tatja Hirvikoski and colleagues [1] and findings that although making uncomfortable reading, highlight how we have some way to go when it comes to addressing important health inequalities as and when a label of autism or ASD is given.Drawing on Swedish data including over 27,000 people diagnosed with an ASD between 1987 and 2009 compared against........ Read more »

Hirvikoski T, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Boman M, Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, & Bölte S. (2015) Premature mortality in autism spectrum disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 26541693  

  • November 26, 2015
  • 04:37 PM

Stem cell study paves the way for patient therapies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients, an independent study of their genetic make-up suggests. The research – which focused on human embryonic stem cells – paves the way for clinical trials of cell therapies to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, age-related degeneration of the eyes and spinal cord injury.... Read more »

Canham, M., Van Deusen, A., Brison, D., De Sousa, P., Downie, J., Devito, L., Hewitt, Z., Ilic, D., Kimber, S., Moore, H.... (2015) The Molecular Karyotype of 25 Clinical-Grade Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines. Scientific Reports, 17258. DOI: 10.1038/srep17258  

  • November 26, 2015
  • 01:25 PM

Gobble Up Some Facts About Turkeys

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Be the highlight of Thanksgiving dinner conversation after you learn these fascinating facts about turkeys!... Read more »

  • November 26, 2015
  • 08:16 AM

Chocolate agar: Enjoyed by people and meningitis-causing bacteria alike

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Chocolate agar refers to two very different foods, only one of which actually contains chocolate. Both are prepared using agar, a mixture obtained by boiling certain types of algae to release a sugar called agarose that forms a gel when it cools. Thus agar (also called agar agar) can be used to make jelly desserts, flavours of which include coffee-coconut and, you guessed it, chocolate. It's basically a vegan form of Jell-O (which contains gelatin derived from animal bits).The second type of cho........ Read more »

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