Post List

  • September 12, 2016
  • 04:31 AM

The force is strong with autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Tablet and phone games could help diagnose autism, study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Anna Anzulewicz and colleagues [1] (open-access). The idea being that the way that touch screens are used on tablet and smart phones could potentially 'separate out' those with autism from those with not-autism.Based on a small participant number of "37 children 3–6 years old with autism and 45 age- and gender-matched children developing typically" researchers set about examinin........ Read more »

  • September 12, 2016
  • 04:30 AM

Acute Pain Reduced Following 3 Minute Acupressure Treatment

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Three minutes of acupressure was effective in decreasing pain in athletes that sustained an acute musculoskeletal injury; however, it failed to help decrease anxiety levels.... Read more »

  • September 11, 2016
  • 10:41 PM

Older Women, Deeper Learning, and Greater Satisfaction at University

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Recent research published in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education shows that older women are “ideal learners”... Read more »

  • September 11, 2016
  • 03:12 PM

A microRNA plays role in major depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A tiny RNA appears to play a role in producing major depression, the mental disorder that affects as many as 250 million people a year worldwide. Major depression, formally known as major depressive disorder, or MDD, brings increased risk of suicide and is reported to cause the second-most years of disability after low-back pain.

... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 03:09 PM

Social connectedness can increase suicide risk

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists who examined clusters in a single town. The study illustrates how the homogeneous culture and high degree of social connectedness of a community can increase suicide risk, particularly among teenagers.

... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 05:55 AM

Quantum Information Encoded in Spinning Black Holes

by Ovidiu Racorean in United Academics

Spinning black holes are capable of complex quantum information processes encoded in the X-ray photons. ... Read more »

  • September 10, 2016
  • 04:27 AM

Prevalence of self-injurious behaviors among children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Just over a quarter of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with self-injurious behaviour (SIB).That was the headline finding reported by Gnakub Soke and colleagues [1] who surveyed the 8000+ children "in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network during the 2000, 2006, and 2008 surveillance years." THE ADDM network, as some people might know, is one and the same network that comes up with the [estimated] prevalence of autism in the Unit........ Read more »

Soke GN, Rosenberg SA, Hamman RF, Fingerlin T, Robinson C, Carpenter L, Giarelli E, Lee LC, Wiggins LD, Durkin MS.... (2016) Brief Report: Prevalence of Self-injurious Behaviors among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder-A Population-Based Study. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27565654  

  • September 9, 2016
  • 02:16 PM

Study could herald new treatment for muscular dystrophy

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research has shown that the corticosteroid deflazacort is a safe and effective treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The findings could pave the way for first U.S.-approved treatment for the disease.

... Read more »

Griggs, R., Miller, J., Greenberg, C., Fehlings, D., Pestronk, A., Mendell, J., Moxley, R., King, W., Kissel, J., Cwik, V.... (2016) Efficacy and safety of deflazacort vs prednisone and placebo for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neurology, 10. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003217  

  • September 9, 2016
  • 12:10 PM

Statin Therapy: Rethinking Benefits and Risks

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A recent 30-page manuscript provides an exhaustive review of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of statin therapy.The authors of this excellent review provide some context for the relative value of statins.The note that putting 10000 individuals with a history of a vascular event on a statin drug for 5 years would prevent 1,000 subsequent events. This is an example of secondary prevention--preventing another adverse outcome in those already experiencing an adverse event.But the statin drug........ Read more »

Collins, Rory, Reith, Christina, & Emberson, Jonathan. (2016) Interpretation of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of statin therapy. Lancet. info:/

  • September 9, 2016
  • 10:24 AM

C9orf72-SMCR8 complex, analogous to FLCN- FNIP, localizes to lysosomes and regulates mTORC1

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

The DENN protein module contains a longin domain, a DENN domain and a d-DENN domain. Nookala et al. (2012) identified a DENN module in folliculin (FLCN), the Birt-Hogg-Dube tumour suppressor. The DENN module is believed to be a GEF for Rab-GTPases, although FLCN is believed to act as a GAP for RagC (Tsun et al., 2013) as is its yeast homologue, LST7, in interaction with the yeast FNIP homologue Lst4 (Pacitto et al., 2015). A recent bioinformatic study identified DENN domains in several other ........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2016
  • 10:00 AM

Predicting protein function: what’s new?

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Long time readers of this blog (hi mom!) know that I am working with many other people in an effort called CAFA: the Critical Assessment of protein Function Annotation. This is a challenge that many research groups participate in, and its goal is to determine how well we can predict a protein function from its amino-acid sequence. The first CAFA challenge (CAFA1) was held in 2010-2011 and published in 2013. We learned several things from CAFA1. First, that the top ranking function prediction pro........ Read more »

Jiang Y, Oron TR, Clark WT, Bankapur AR, D'Andrea D, Lepore R, Funk CS, Kahanda I, Verspoor KM, Ben-Hur A.... (2016) An expanded evaluation of protein function prediction methods shows an improvement in accuracy. Genome biology, 17(1), 184. PMID: 27604469  

  • September 9, 2016
  • 09:55 AM

The deep history of barley breeding

by Luigi in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

A recent paper reported on the discovery of a bit of the barley genome where an allele from the wild relative, when homozygous, confers a 30% yield advantage over a popular German variety under saline conditions.1 That of course is very interesting in its own right, but I want here to delve a bit into the methods, rather than the results.... Read more »

  • September 9, 2016
  • 07:00 AM

Friday Fellow: Helicopter Damselfly

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Damselflies are usually delicate versions of dragonflies, but some species challenge their place among the odonates. The most extreme example comes from the moist forests of Central and South America and is known as Megaloprepus caerulatus or … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 9, 2016
  • 02:40 AM

Post-exertional malaise (PEM) in CFS might mean more than one thing

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The results suggest that post-exertional malaise [PEM] is composed of two empirically different experiences, one for generalized fatigue and one for muscle-specific fatigue."So said the findings reported by Stephanie McManimen and colleagues [1] looking at one of the most common and debilitating aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and how rough-and-ready generalised descriptions often do little to reveal the complexities of this particular sympt........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2016
  • 04:28 PM

How new experiences boost memory formation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Most people remember where they were when the twin towers collapsed in New York ... new research reveals why that may be the case. The study has shed new light on the biological mechanisms that drive the process, known as flashbulb memory.

... Read more »

Takeuchi, T., Duszkiewicz, A., Sonneborn, A., Spooner, P., Yamasaki, M., Watanabe, M., Smith, C., Fernández, G., Deisseroth, K., Greene, R.... (2016) Locus coeruleus and dopaminergic consolidation of everyday memory. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature19325  

  • September 8, 2016
  • 12:00 PM

Fertility Campaigns: It’s A Kid-a-strophe!

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Are fertility campaigns the right way to face an ageing population?... Read more »

Jos G.J. Olivier, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Jeroen A.H.W. Peters, & Julian Wilson. (2011) Long-term trend in global CO2 emissions: 2011 report. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, . info:other/978-90-78645-68-9

Bloom DE, Chatterji S, Kowal P, Lloyd-Sherlock P, McKee M, Rechel B, Rosenberg L, & Smith JP. (2015) Macroeconomic implications of population ageing and selected policy responses. Lancet (London, England), 385(9968), 649-57. PMID: 25468167  

  • September 8, 2016
  • 09:16 AM

CRISPR on my plate, and some GMO’s on the side

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

A CRISPR recipe Less than a month ago, the world’s first official CRISPR/Cas9 meal was served. CRISPR/Cas9 is a fairly new technology to edit genomes, and cut and paste genes at will. Well, it’s not exactly that new. It’s actually been around for a long time. CRISPR, or *humhum* Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats […]... Read more »

Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, & Ricroch AE. (2012) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50(3-4), 1134-48. PMID: 22155268  

  • September 8, 2016
  • 04:34 AM

Metformin to tackle medication induced weight gain in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Metformin may be effective in decreasing weight gain associated with atypical antipsychotic use and is well tolerated by children and adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the paper by Evdokia Anagnostou and colleagues [1] (open-access) tackling an increasingly important health issue related to the pharmacological 'management' of some aspects of some autism.Metformin is the treatment of choice when it comes to the management of type 2 diabetes (the one where "t........ Read more »

  • September 7, 2016
  • 06:17 PM

Girls only, literally: global warming and sea turtle sex ratios

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

The sex of sea turtle offspring is largely dependent on temperature, and global warming could lead to problems where populations are mostly/all female. However, sea turtles have a trick up their sleeve (in their shells?) that may make them more resilient to the effects of global warming than previously thought.... Read more »

  • September 7, 2016
  • 02:15 PM

Antimicrobial chemicals found with antibiotic-resistance genes in indoor dust

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics. One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products.

... Read more »

Hartmann, E., Hickey, R., Hsu, T., Betancourt Román, C., Chen, J., Schwager, R., Kline, J., Brown, G., Halden, R., Huttenhower, C.... (2016) Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00262  

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