Today I'm (belatedly) talking about the paper by Robert Naviaux and colleagues  (open-access) and some further peer-reviewed discussion concerning the metabolomics of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Suggesting that "targeted, broad-spectrum metabolomics of plasma not only revealed a characteristic chemical signature but also revealed an unexpected underlying biology" when it comes to CFS, it is not surprising that this work has attracted some media interest (indeed, quite a lot of m........ Read more »
Training the brain to treat itself is a promising therapy for traumatic stress. The training uses an auditory or visual signal that corresponds to the activity of a particular brain region, called neurofeedback, which can guide people to regulate their own brain activity. However, treating stress-related disorders requires accessing the brain's emotional hub, the amygdala, which is located deep in the brain and difficult to reach with typical neurofeedback methods.
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Keynan, J., Meir-Hasson, Y., Gilam, G., Cohen, A., Jackont, G., Kinreich, S., Ikar, L., Or-Borichev, A., Etkin, A., Gyurak, A.... (2016) Limbic Activity Modulation Guided by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Inspired Electroencephalography Improves Implicit Emotion Regulation. Biological Psychiatry, 80(6), 490-496. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.12.024
Molecular model of the drug buprenorphineThe U.S. Surgeon General recently sent a letter to all physicians about the danger of prescription opioids, particularly when used in combination with benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium, Xanax). This combination greatly increases the risk of overdose death.Clinicians can successfully assist those with opioid use disorders. Marc Schuckit, M.D. recently published a nice summary review of entitled "Treatment of Opioid-Use Disorder" in the New England Journal........ Read more »
This post describes the concept behind combination therapies for cancer. Why are they needed? Why can they fail...?... Read more »
"Tablet and phone games could help diagnose autism, study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Anna Anzulewicz and colleagues  (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 »
Anzulewicz A, Sobota K, & Delafield-Butt JT. (2016) Toward the Autism Motor Signature: Gesture patterns during smart tablet gameplay identify children with autism. Scientific reports, 31107. PMID: 27553971
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 »
Mącznik, A., Schneiders, A., Athens, J., & Sullivan, S. (2016) Does Acupressure Hit the Mark? A Three-Arm Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupressure for Pain and Anxiety Relief in Athletes With Acute Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000378
Recent research published in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education shows that older women are “ideal learners”... Read more »
Rubin, M., Scevak, J., Southgate, E., Macqueen, S., Williams, P., & Douglas, H. (2016) Older women, deeper learning, and greater satisfaction at university: Age and gender predict university students’ learning approach and degree satisfaction. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1037/dhe0000042
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.
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Roy, B., Dunbar, M., Shelton, R., & Dwivedi, Y. (2016) Identification of microRNA-124-3p as a Putative Epigenetic Signature of Major Depressive Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2016.175
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.
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Mueller, A., & Abrutyn, S. (2016) Adolescents under Pressure: A New Durkheimian Framework for Understanding Adolescent Suicide in a Cohesive Community. American Sociological Review. DOI: 10.1177/0003122416663464
Spinning black holes are capable of complex quantum information processes encoded in the X-ray photons. ... Read more »
Ovidiu Racorean. (2016) Photonic Bell states creation around rotating black holes. ArXiv. arXiv: 1608.06822v1
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  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
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.
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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
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:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31357-5
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 »
Amick J, Roczniak-Ferguson A, & Ferguson SM. (2016) C9orf72 binds SMCR8, localizes to lysosomes and regulates mTORC1 signaling. Molecular biology of the cell. PMID: 27559131
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
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 »
Saade, S., Maurer, A., Shahid, M., Oakey, H., Schmöckel, S., Negrão, S., Pillen, K., & Tester, M. (2016) Yield-related salinity tolerance traits identified in a nested association mapping (NAM) population of wild barley. Scientific Reports, 32586. DOI: 10.1038/srep32586
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 »
Feindt, W., Fincke, O., & Hadrys, H. (2013) Still a one species genus? Strong genetic diversification in the world’s largest living odonate, the Neotropical damselfly Megaloprepus caerulatus. Conservation Genetics, 15(2), 469-481. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-013-0554-z
"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  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 »
McManimen SL, Sunnquist ML, & Jason LA. (2016) Deconstructing post-exertional malaise: An exploratory factor analysis. Journal of health psychology. PMID: 27557649
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.
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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
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
Tinker A. (2002) The social implications of an ageing population. Introduction. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 123(7), 729-35. PMID: 11869730
Hertel, T. (2015) The challenges of sustainably feeding a growing planet. Food Security, 7(2), 185-198. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0440-2
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
Hamza, N., & Gilroy, R. (2011) The challenge to UK energy policy: An ageing population perspective on energy saving measures and consumption. Energy Policy, 39(2), 782-789. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.10.052
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