Flu vaccines can be something of a shot in the dark. Not only must they be given yearly, there’s no guarantee the strains against which they protect will be the ones circulating once the season arrives. New research by Rockefeller University scientists suggests it may be possible to harness a previously unknown mechanism within the immune system to create more effective and efficient vaccines against this ever-mutating virus.... Read more »
Wang, T., Maamary, J., Tan, G., Bournazos, S., Davis, C., Krammer, F., Schlesinger, S., Palese, P., Ahmed, R., & Ravetch, J. (2015) Anti-HA Glycoforms Drive B Cell Affinity Selection and Determine Influenza Vaccine Efficacy. Cell, 162(1), 160-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.06.026
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Igho Onakpoya MD MSc Clarendon Scholar University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences Oxford UK MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Onakpoya: Several … Continue reading →
The post Evidence of Value of Orphan Drugs Inconsistent appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Igho Onakpoya MD MSc, & Clarendon Scholar. (2015) Evidence of Value of Orphan Drugs Inconsistent. medicalresearch.com. info:/
Research from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time. And paradoxically, it works in the same way as mechanisms that cause mad cow disease, kuru, and other degenerative brain diseases.... Read more »
Fioriti, L., Myers, C., Huang, Y., Li, X., Stephan, J., Trifilieff, P., Colnaghi, L., Kosmidis, S., Drisaldi, B., Pavlopoulos, E.... (2015) The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3. Neuron, 86(6), 1433-1448. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.021
Drisaldi, B., Colnaghi, L., Fioriti, L., Rao, N., Myers, C., Snyder, A., Metzger, D., Tarasoff, J., Konstantinov, E., Fraser, P.... (2015) SUMOylation Is an Inhibitory Constraint that Regulates the Prion-like Aggregation and Activity of CPEB3. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1694-1702. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.061
Stephan, J., Fioriti, L., Lamba, N., Colnaghi, L., Karl, K., Derkatch, I., & Kandel, E. (2015) The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton. Cell Reports, 11(11), 1772-1785. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.060
Fiumara, F., Rajasethupathy, P., Antonov, I., Kosmidis, S., Sossin, W., & Kandel, E. (2015) MicroRNA-22 Gates Long-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity in Aplysia through Presynaptic Regulation of CPEB and Downstream Targets. Cell Reports, 11(12), 1866-1875. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.034
Mudambi (2008) notes that “value-added is becoming increasingly concentrated at the upstream and downstream ends of the value chain” and that “activities at both ends of the value chain are intensive in their application of knowledge and creativity”. Value-added along the value chain is, thus, represented by a “smiling curve”. Mudambi, R. (2008). Location, Control […]... Read more »
Mudambi, R. (2008) Location, Control and Innovation in Knowledge-intensive Industries. Journal of Economic Geography, 8(5), 699-725. DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbn024
I must thank Leah Hardy (@LeahFHardy) for bringing to my attention the paper by Qinglong Shang and colleagues  (open-access available here) reporting that: "Ad36 [Human adenovirus 36] infection is associated with an increased risk of obesity development."Based on a meta-analysis of the available research literature examining whether Ad-36 - "a nonenveloped icosahedral virus comprised of double-stranded DNA and is one of 56 serotypes in 7 subgroups of human adenoviruses" - might be linked to obesity, researchers concluded that the weight of evidence from 11 studies did favour "an association between Ad36 infection and a significantly increased risk of obesity development, especially in children." Such findings can be added to other meta-analyses  that have also previously suggested that there may be more to see in this 'infectobesity' area .I have to say that I was quite unaware of the links being made between Ad-36 and obesity prior to reading the Shang paper. I've previously tackled the idea that the obesity might have some important microbiological links (see here) before on this blog but never considered the possibility of a viral infection as showing involvement until now. Obviously one has to be a little guarded against making any sweeping statements that for example, Ad-36 is the primary cause of all obesity, because in all likelihood the issue is likely to be rather more complex than that. Appreciating that the old 'energy in, energy out' hypothesis is itself likely to be an over-simplification of why we are faced with growing rates of overweight and obesity, I'm sure that Ad-36 probably fits into a rather large jigsaw puzzle - somewhere. The requirement for a greater understanding of the hows and whys of any viral - obesity link is also strong alongside the idea that even if proved, any viral link should not absolve responsibility for eating and exercising right as part of maintaining a healthy weight.Research such as that from Berger and colleagues  suggesting that "Ad36(+) may be associated with biomarkers implicated in inflammation but not with greater levels of fat mass" offers some cautionary data on why there may be quite a bit more research needed looking at Ad-36 and obesity. If one considers that inflammation seems to be part and parcel of obesity, the whole thing starts to get quite a bit more complicated.Still, if science does start to get closer to the idea that Ad-36 (or other agents) might indeed heightened the risk of obesity and perhaps even suggest 'transferability' from person-to-person, this may open up new ways of tackling this issue  even with the prospect of immunising against infection-induced weight gain .Music: Babies by Pulp.---------- Shang Q. et al. Serological data analyses show that adenovirus 36 infection is associated with obesity: a meta-analysis involving 5739 subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Mar;22(3):895-900. Yamada T. et al. Association of Adenovirus 36 Infection with Obesity and Metabolic Markers in Humans: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7): e42031. Valiquette L. et al. A microbiological explanation for the obesity pandemic? Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2014 Nov-Dec;25(6):294-5. Berger PK. et al. Association of adenovirus 36 infection with adiposity and inflammatory-related markers in children. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep;99(9):3240-6. Esposito S. et al. Adenovirus 36 infection and obesity. J Clin Virol. 2012 Oct;55(2):95-100. Na HN. & Nam JH. Proof-of-concept for a virus-induced obesity vaccine; vaccination against the obesity agent adenovirus 36. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Nov;38(11):1470-4.----------Shang Q, Wang H, Song Y, Wei L, Lavebratt C, Zhang F, & Gu H (2014). Serological data analyses show that adenovirus 36 infection is associated with obesity: a meta-analysis involving 5739 subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 22 (3), 895-900 PMID: 23804409... Read more »
Shang Q, Wang H, Song Y, Wei L, Lavebratt C, Zhang F, & Gu H. (2014) Serological data analyses show that adenovirus 36 infection is associated with obesity: a meta-analysis involving 5739 subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 22(3), 895-900. PMID: 23804409
Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study. The finding broadens the understanding of children’s sleep needs and calls into question the increasing use of REM-disrupting medications such as stimulants and antidepressants.
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Michelle C. Dumoulin Bridi, Sara J. Aton, Julie Seibt, Leslie Renouard, Tammi Coleman1, & Marcos G. Frank. (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500105
The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed. A group of researchers discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.... Read more »
Nikolay A. Pestov, Nadezhda S. Gerasimova, Olga I. Kulaeva, & Vasily M. Studitsky. (2015) Structure of transcribed chromatin is a sensor of DNA damage. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500021
When you smile at a party, your facial expression is emotionally consistent with the happy context and as a consequence other guests will in future be more likely to remember that they've seen your face before, and where you were when they saw you. That's according to a team of Italian researchers led by Stefania Righi who have explored how memory for a face is affected by the emotion shown on that face and the congruence between that emotional expression and its surrounding context.The researchers first presented 30 participants (11 men) with 64 unfamiliar face and scene pairings. The faces were either smiling or fearful and they were either presented alongside an image of a happy scene (e.g. a party) or a fear-inducing scene (e.g. a car crash). The participants' task at this stage was simply to indicate whether each face-scene pairing was emotionally congruent or not.Next came the memory test. Different faces (some previously seen, some new) were flashed up on-screen against a black background and the participants had to say whether they'd seen the face before or if it was entirely new. After each face, three scenes appeared of the same genre (e.g. three party scenes), and the participants had to say which specific scene the face had previously appeared alongside.Previously seen happy faces were better remembered than fearful faces, but only when they appeared alongside a happy scene. Memory for fearful faces, by contrast, was unaffected by the congruence of the accompanying scene. Why should smiling faces at a party or other happy context be better remembered than a fearful face? The researchers think the combination of a smiling face and happy scene has a broadening effect on observers' attention, enhancing their memories for the face. From a methodological point of view, it's shame the study didn't also feature neutral faces: without these, we can't be certain whether smiling faces in a happy context were enhancing memory or if fearful faces in that context were harming memory, or a bit of both.Figure 3 from Righi et al, 2015.The researchers also propose that smiling faces have a "unitising effect" whereby the face and its context are bound together in memory. This idea also appeared to be supported by the results: participants were better at remembering the accompanying scenes (happy and fearful) for smiling faces than fearful faces.Put these two key results together and it means that we're particularly likely to remember a smiling face we saw at a party, and the specific context we saw it in. Righi and her colleagues said it made sense for memory to work this way. "A smiling person communicates a social bond and the ability to remember, not only the face identity, but also the context of the first encounter with that 'potential friend', could reflect an adaptive behaviour in view of future social relations." The new results also complement past research on memory for face-name pairings: presented with a name, participants were better at remembering when it was earlier paired with a happy face than a neutral one._________________________________ Righi, S., Gronchi, G., Marzi, T., Rebai, M., & Viggiano, M. (2015). You are that smiling guy I met at the party! Socially positive signals foster memory for identities and contexts Acta Psychologica, 159, 1-7 DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.05.001 Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.
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Righi, S., Gronchi, G., Marzi, T., Rebai, M., & Viggiano, M. (2015) You are that smiling guy I met at the party! Socially positive signals foster memory for identities and contexts. Acta Psychologica, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.05.001
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Patrick L Kinney Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Director, Columbia Climate and Health Program Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York, NY Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Kinney: … Continue reading →
The post Warming Climate May Not Reduce Winter Mortality appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Prof. Patrick L Kinney Ph.D., & Professor of Environmental Health Sciences. (2015) Warming Climate May Not Reduce Winter Mortality. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
Can we learn without being aware of what we're learning? Many psychologists say that 'unconscious', or implicit, learning exists.
But in a new paper, London-based psychologists Vadillo, Konstantinidis, and Shanks call the evidence for this into question.
Vadillo et al. focus on one particular example of implicit learning, the contextual cueing paradigm. This involves a series of stimulus patterns, each consisting of a number of "L" shapes and one "T" shape in various orientations. For ... Read more »
Vadillo MA, Konstantinidis E, & Shanks DR. (2015) Underpowered samples, false negatives, and unconscious learning. Psychonomic bulletin . PMID: 26122896
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. F. Xavier Pi–Sunyer MD Division of Endocrinology and Obesity Research Center Columbia University, New York Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pi-Sunye: In a large randomized trial, … Continue reading →
The post Diabetes Medication Reduced Weight and Improved Metabolic Parameters in Obese Patients appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer MD, & Division of Endocrinology and Obesity Research Center. (2015) Diabetes Medication Reduced Weight and Improved Metabolic Parameters in Obese Patients. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Irwig MD Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates George Washington University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many factors are associated with lower testosterone levels and … Continue reading →
The post Low Testosterone Linked To Obesity and Depression In Men appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Michael S. Irwig MD Division of Endocrinology Medical Faculty Associates. (2015) Low Testosterone Linked To Obesity and Depression In Men. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
When you look at a kangaroo or a wallaby, it's obvious the animal is well built for bouncing around the outback. What may be less obvious is that its arms are built for fighting—if it's male, that is. Males of these species have disproportionately long arm bones. And the more brawling a species does, the more exaggerated the difference between the beefy-armed males and their normal-limbed mates.
To understand this evolutionary quirk, we'll need to review the rules of fighting in wallabies... Read more »
Richards, H., Grueter, C., & Milne, N. (2015) Strong arm tactics: sexual dimorphism in macropodid limb proportions. Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12264
Animal models can be useful for understanding disease pathology and as preclinical models for drug testing. As BHD patients develop renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) of varied histologies, associated with a loss of FLCN, BHD animal models could be used to study of a wide range of renal cancer subtypes. Current BHD mouse models include kidney-specific Flcn-knockouts (Chen et al., 2008, Baba et al., 2008) and ubiquitous knockouts (Hasumi et al., 2009, Hartman et al., 2009, Hudon et al., 2010). The former develop polycystic kidneys and die within three weeks, the latter can only be studied as heterozygotes with tumourigenesis dependent on a “second hit” resulting in variable penetrance and making them less suitable for drug studies.... Read more »
Chen J, Huang D, Rubera I, Futami K, Wang P, Zickert P, Khoo SK, Dykema K, Zhao P, Petillo D.... (2015) Disruption of tubular Flcn expression as a mouse model for renal tumor induction. Kidney international. PMID: 26083655
Adding some ‘worry time’ to your day could work better than pills.... Read more »
Koffel EA, Koffel JB, & Gehrman PR. (2015) A meta-analysis of group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Sleep medicine reviews, 6-16. PMID: 24931811
Sivertsen B, Omvik S, Pallesen S, Bjorvatn B, Havik OE, Kvale G, Nielsen GH, & Nordhus IH. (2006) Cognitive behavioral therapy vs zopiclone for treatment of chronic primary insomnia in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 295(24), 2851-8. PMID: 16804151
A new research article shows that the ventral striatum includes a representation of the value attributed to potential choices in a gambling task, and of the decision eventually reached.... Read more »
Strait, C., Sleezer, B., & Hayden, B. (2015) Signatures of Value Comparison in Ventral Striatum Neurons. PLOS Biology, 13(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002173
I was really rather happy to see the "preliminary evidence" reported by Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues  when it came to examining whether selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants might show linkage to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on data derived from the CHARGE initiative.For quite a while now I've discussed the various peer-reviewed science on the topic of vitamin D deficiency / insufficiency with autism in mind on this blog (see here and see here for example). Specifically, how a diagnosis of ASD seems to offer little protection against issues with vitamin D appearing and what that could mean for important issues such as bone health (see here) for example.A key component that seemed to be missing from the growing volume of research looking at vitamin D and autism was some discussion about whether the genetics of vitamin production and usage might offer some further clues to how vitamin D might more directly be 'linked' to [some] autism. Schmidt et al have started to put some flesh on to the scientific bones in this area following their previous research discussions on vits and SNPs with autism in mind (see here) .So: "Maternal, paternal, and child DNA samples for 384 (81%) families of children with ASD and 234 (83%) families of TD [typically developing] children were genotyped for: TaqI, BsmI, FokI, and Cdx2 in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene, and CYP27B1 rs4646536, GC rs4588, and CYP2R1 rs10741657." In effect, researchers looked for potential genetic 'issues' with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene that have previously been linked to various health issues. They found some potentially interesting information including: "Paternal VDR TaqI homozygous variant genotype was significantly associated with ASD in case-control analysis." Homozygous by the way, refers to the concept of zygosity and the fact we have pairs of chromosomes. Further: "A significant association between decreased ASD risk and child CYP2R1 AA-genotype was found in hybrid log-linear analysis."This is early days research insofar as the genetics of vitamin D and autism only being mentioned once before in the research literature as per the report from Yan and colleagues . I'm excited at the Schmidt data but am not going to go all out on this very preliminary inspection of vitamin D receptor gene functioning without further large-scale replication and validation studies being carried out including discussions on things like cognitive ability in light of other recent data . Whilst we are however, on the topic of vitamin D and its potential extra-skeletal activities, I'm minded to also bring in the paper by Kaneko and colleagues  and their results implying that "vitamin D affects brain serotonin concentrations" with mention of autism among other labels. Reporting on a particularly interesting enzyme - tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)2 - which has an important role in serotonin metabolism (see here) I'll be watching closely on how vitamin D research with autism in mind also develops in this area.And then there are the Raftery results  to bring to your attention putting further scientific flesh on to the bones about the possibility of a relationship between vitamin D levels and intestinal permeability (see here). Given what has been mentioned about 'leaky gut' and autism in the peer-reviewed literature so far (see here) one might also add this to further investigations in this area...Music: I am the Monarch of the Sea.---------- Schmidt RJ. et al. Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early Hum Dev. 2015 Jun 11;91(8):483-489. Yan J. et al. Vitamin D receptor variants in 192 patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases. Neurosci Lett. 2005 May 20-27;380(1-2):37-41. Jorde R. et al. Vitamin D and cognitive function: The Tromsø Study. J Neurol Sci. 2015 Jun 7. pii: S0022-510X(15)00350-0. Kaneko I. et al. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D regulates expression of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 and leptin genes: implication for behavioral influences of vitamin D. FASEB J. 2015 Jun 12. pii: fj.14-269811. Raftery T. et al. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability, cathelicidin and disease markers in Crohn's disease: Results from a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. United European Gastroenterol J. 2015 Jun;3(3):294-302.----------Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Sconberg JL, Schmidt LC, Volk HE, & Tassone F (2015). Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early human development, 91 (8), 483-489 PMID: 26073892... Read more »
Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Sconberg JL, Schmidt LC, Volk HE, & Tassone F. (2015) Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early human development, 91(8), 483-489. PMID: 26073892
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Foot Strike Pattern and Injury Rates... Read more »
Warr BJ, Fellin RE, Sauer SG, Goss DL, Frykman PN, & Seay JF. (2015) Characterization of Foot-Strike Patterns: Lack of an Association With Injuries or Performance in Soldiers. Military medicine, 180(7), 830-4. PMID: 26126256
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Bahman Guyuron MD Cleveland and Lyndhurst, Ohio From the Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Case Medical Center; and the American Migraine Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Guyuron: Through several … Continue reading →
The post Study Compares Two Surgical Techniques To Relieve Migraine Headaches appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Dr. Bahman Guyuron MD, & Cleveland and Lyndhurst. (2015) Study Compares Two Surgical Techniques To Relieve Migraine Headaches. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chao Cheng, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Genetics Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Hanover NH, 03755 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Cheng: Bladder cancer is a … Continue reading →
The post Biomarker Predicts Bladder Cancer Response To Treatment appeared first on MedicalResearch.com Medical Research Interviews and News.
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Chao Cheng, Ph.D., & Assistant Professor. (2015) Biomarker Predicts Bladder Cancer Response To Treatment. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
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