Since the noticeable expansion of most of the worlds waistlines, people have come to lay the blame (amongst other things) almost squarely on fast food and ever increasing portion sizes. While the world and it’s leaders are dealing with this mysterious problem by trying to help push fast food chains in the direction of change, it might be surprising to know that according to new research, fast food portion sizes have changed little since 1996.... Read more »
Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE and Lichtenstein AH. (2014) Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurant Energy, Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content in the United States, 1996-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140202
Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE, Lichtenstein AH,. (2014) Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content Per 1,000 Kilocalories: Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurants, United States, 2000-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140335
O’Mahony’s data indicated that the pine marten population in this part of Ireland is quite low, with as few as only nine estimated breeding females in the area. The analysis also showed that pine marten only bred in some of the sampled woodlots. O’Mahony warns of the possibility of local population extinctions due to the small number of breeding females, especially as some of the woodlots are small and isolated which may hamper movement of animals across the entire landscape.
........ Read more »
O’Mahony, D., Turner, P., & O’Reilly, C. (2014) Pine marten (Martes martes) abundance in an insular mountainous region using non-invasive techniques. European Journal of Wildlife Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-014-0878-0
Sheehy, E., O’Meara, D., O’Reilly, C., Smart, A., & Lawton, C. (2013) A non-invasive approach to determining pine marten abundance and predation. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 60(2), 223-236. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-013-0771-2
Habit formation is the key to keeping New Years resolutions. The brain has complex mechanisms for learning habits, but more importantly, the brain actually inhibits the changing of habits. Evolution says – if it hasn’t killed you yet, it’s a habit worth keeping – not so great for bad habits that kill you slowly.... Read more »
Wang, L., Li, F., Wang, D., Xie, K., Wang, D., Shen, X., & Tsien, J. (2011) NMDA Receptors in Dopaminergic Neurons Are Crucial for Habit Learning. Neuron, 72(6), 1055-1066. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.019
Wang, W., Dever, D., Lowe, J., Storey, G., Bhansali, A., Eck, E., Nitulescu, I., Weimer, J., & Bamford, N. (2012) Regulation of prefrontal excitatory neurotransmission by dopamine in the nucleus accumbens core. The Journal of Physiology, 590(16), 3743-3769. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.235200
Veteran education researcher Deborah Ball (along with co-author Francesca Forzani) provide some measure of validation for many educators' frustrations, disappointments, and disaffections with education research. In a paper titled "What Makes Education Research 'Educational'?" published in December 2007, Ball and Forzani point to education research's tendency to focus on "phenomena related to education," rather than "inside educational transactions&quo........ Read more »
Ball, D., & Forzani, F. (2007) 2007 Wallace Foundation Distinguished Lecture--What Makes Education "Research Educational"?. Educational Researcher, 36(9), 529-540. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X07312896
Janis Weis' group has been mapping genetic variants that make laboratory mice prone to severe Lyme arthritis. One of these variants is described in a paper that appeared in The Journal of Clinical Investigation earlier this year. The affected gene encodes the enzyme β-glucuronidase, which carries out a critical function in the lysosome. β-glucuronidase cooperates with other degradative enzymes in the lysosome to break down glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) into their individual sugar units........ Read more »
Bramwell KK, Ma Y, Weis JH, Chen X, Zachary JF, Teuscher C, & Weis JJ. (2014) Lysosomal β-glucuronidase regulates Lyme and rheumatoid arthritis severity. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(1), 311-320. PMID: 24334460
Bramwell KK, Teuscher C, & Weis JJ. (2014) Forward genetic approaches for elucidation of novel regulators of Lyme arthritis severity. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 76. PMID: 24926442
Pancewicz S, Popko J, Rutkowski R, Knaś M, Grygorczuk S, Guszczyn T, Bruczko M, Szajda S, Zajkowska J, Kondrusik M.... (2009) Activity of lysosomal exoglycosidases in serum and synovial fluid in patients with chronic Lyme and rheumatoid arthritis. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases, 41(8), 584-589. PMID: 19513935
Jiang D, Liang J, Fan J, Yu S, Chen S, Luo Y, Prestwich GD, Mascarenhas MM, Garg HG, Quinn DA.... (2005) Regulation of lung injury and repair by Toll-like receptors and hyaluronan. Nature Medicine, 11(11), 1173-1179. PMID: 16244651
Some of you may remember a recent study showing why red meat is bad for the heart, while now there is a study showing why steak — or in particular red meats — raise the risk of cancer. To be clear, I am still very much a red meat eater and this is no way intended to change anyones opinions on steak consumption, but it is nice to understand the science behind what we put in our mouths.... Read more »
Samraj, A., Pearce, O., Läubli, H., Crittenden, A., Bergfeld, A., Banda, K., Gregg, C., Bingman, A., Secrest, P., Diaz, S.... (2014) A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201417508. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1417508112
I’ve been a fan of Margaret Oakley Dayhoff for a long time. One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one linked in this tweet below. I can tell when students have been assigned a project to read up on her, because suddenly I see an influx of hits to the page. […]... Read more »
Strasser Bruno J. (2011) The Experimenter's Museum: GenBank, Natural History, and the Moral Economies of Biomedicine. Isis, 102(1), 60-96. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/658657
Facing a whole hive of bees at once can be overwhelming—even for a bee. Young honeybees sleep more after spending time in the hive than after being by themselves. They need the extra nap time, it seems, to build and maintain their learning brains.
The first surprising thing about this might be that insects sleep at all. "Since around the 1980s there is good evidence that insects show...characteristics of sleep," says Guy Bloch, who studies bee behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusa........ Read more »
Eban-Rothschild A, & Bloch G. (2014) The colony environment modulates sleep in honey bee workers. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25524987
The authors of the paper (full text) I will discuss here, Ainsworth and Burcham, follow the lead of many researchers, including Danielle McNamara (2001) (full text), in conceiving of text coherence as "the extent to which the relationships between the ideas in a text are explicit." In addition to this conceptualization, the authors also adopt guidelines from McNamara, et al. (1996) to improve the coherence of the text used in their experiment—a text about the human circulatory system. ... Read more »
Ainsworth, S., & Burcham, S. (2007) The impact of text coherence on learning by self- explanation. Learning and Instruction, 17(3), 286-303. info:doi /10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.02.004
There are about 200 species of caecilians (pronounced ‘seh-SILL-yuns’) but it's highly unlikely you have or will ever encounter one. Why? Because they live underground, burrowing through loose soil and ground litter with their long, snake-like bodies.
Read on to learn 9 weird and interesting facts about these unusual creatures.
Bombay caecilian (Ichthyophis bombayensis)
Credit - Wikicommons... Read more »
Mohun, S., Davies, W., Bowmaker, J., Pisani, D., Himstedt, W., Gower, D., Hunt, D., & Wilkinson, M. (2010) Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(20), 3586-3592. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.045914
Kupfer, A., Müller, H., Antoniazzi, M., Jared, C., Greven, H., Nussbaum, R., & Wilkinson, M. (2006) Parental investment by skin feeding in a caecilian amphibian. Nature, 440(7086), 926-929. DOI: 10.1038/nature04403
The popular phrase is, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” Many organisms get to have both. We can learn a lot from studying old organisms, but perhaps the biggest question to answer is what constitutes a single life. Many living things seem to cheat; they have more than one life.... Read more »
Munro D, Pichaud N, Paquin F, Kemeid V, & Blier PU. (2013) Low hydrogen peroxide production in mitochondria of the long-lived Arctica islandica: underlying mechanisms for slow aging. Aging cell, 12(4), 584-92. PMID: 23566066
Seim I, Ma S, Zhou X, Gerashchenko MV, Lee SG, Suydam R, George JC, Bickham JW, & Gladyshev VN. (2014) The transcriptome of the bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus reveals adaptations of the longest-lived mammal. Aging, 6(10), 879-99. PMID: 25411232
Holland, H., Schöne, B., Marali, S., & Jochum, K. (2014) History of bioavailable lead and iron in the Greater North Sea and Iceland during the last millennium – A bivalve sclerochronological reconstruction. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 87(1-2), 104-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.08.005
Back in April, I blogged about a paper published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD) claiming that a little-known technique called ‘quantum resonance spectrometry’ (QRS) was able to diagnose mental health problems. I expressed surprise that the paper didn't explain what QRS actually is, how it works, or what it measures.
Now, eight months later, a Letter to the Editor has been published in the JNMD: Methodological Queries Regarding "Exploratory Quantum Resonance Spectr... Read more »
Baguley T, Moriarty P, Nestler S, & Ritchie SJ. (2015) Methodological Queries Regarding "Exploratory Quantum Resonance Spectrometry" (Zhang et al., 2014). The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 203(1), 71. PMID: 25536102
I like warm hugs...Time flies doesn't it? And here we are yet again at the end of another research year and a time to reflect on the blogging highlights of 2014 on Questioning Answers. Once again the question is: are we any further forward when it comes to the autism spectrum, it's aetiology, nature and improving quality of life for those on the spectrum?Once again, I'm going to be optimistic and say 'yes' in some respects we are, as autism research continues at a pace. The caveat being tha........ Read more »
Masi A, Quintana DS, Glozier N, Lloyd AR, Hickie IB, & Guastella AJ. (2014) Cytokine aberrations in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 24934179
Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network Surveillance Year 2010 Principal Investigators, & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014) Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years - autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2010. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries (Washington, D.C. : 2002), 63(2), 1-21. PMID: 24670961
Goh S, Dong Z, Zhang Y, DiMauro S, & Peterson BS. (2014) Mitochondrial dysfunction as a neurobiological subtype of autism spectrum disorder: evidence from brain imaging. JAMA psychiatry, 71(6), 665-71. PMID: 24718932
Healthy youth baseball players, despite actively competing in a summer league, reported arm pain and fatigue that resulted in a decline of enjoyment in the game and feeling encouraged to continue playing despite experiencing pain.... Read more »
Makhni, E., Morrow, Z., Luchetti, T., Mishra-Kalyani, P., Gualtieri, A., Lee, R., & Ahmad, C. (2014) Arm Pain in Youth Baseball Players: A Survey of Healthy Players. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/0363546514555506
Britton and Gülgöz (1991) conducted a study to test whether removing "inference calls" from text would improve retention of the material. Inference calls are locations in text that demand inference from the reader. One simple example from the text used in the study is below:... Read more »
Britton, B., & Gülg öz, S. (1991) Using Kintsch's computational model to improve instructional text: Effects of repairing inference calls on recall and cognitive structures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(3), 329-345. DOI: 10.1037//0022- 06126.96.36.1999
Various viral proteins localise to the ER and modulate the ER stress response, including inducing the expression of ER resident chaperones and proteins involved in autophagy thus promoting cell survival. Briefly, the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER lumen sequentially activates three pathways by activating three sensors -PERK, ATF6, and IRE1- each of which induce the expression of chaperones and other enzymes involved in the folding of proteins as well as activating autophagy by depho........ Read more »
Pluquet O, Qu LK, Baltzis D, & Koromilas AE. (2005) Endoplasmic reticulum stress accelerates p53 degradation by the cooperative actions of Hdm2 and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta. Molecular and cellular biology, 25(21), 9392-405. PMID: 16227590
Li K, Chen Z, Kato N, Gale M Jr, & Lemon SM. (2005) Distinct poly(I-C) and virus-activated signaling pathways leading to interferon-beta production in hepatocytes. The Journal of biological chemistry, 280(17), 16739-47. PMID: 15737993
Harashima N, Minami T, Uemura H, & Harada M. (2014) Transfection of poly(I:C) can induce reactive oxygen species-triggered apoptosis and interferon-β-mediated growth arrest in human renal cell carcinoma cells via innate adjuvant receptors and the 2-5A system. Molecular cancer, 217. PMID: 25227113
Matsumoto M, & Seya T. (2008) TLR3: interferon induction by double-stranded RNA including poly(I:C). Advanced drug delivery reviews, 60(7), 805-12. PMID: 18262679
Li M, Chen D, Shiloh A, Luo J, Nikolaev AY, Qin J, & Gu W. (2002) Deubiquitination of p53 by HAUSP is an important pathway for p53 stabilization. Nature, 416(6881), 648-53. PMID: 11923872
Kon N, Kobayashi Y, Li M, Brooks CL, Ludwig T, & Gu W. (2010) Inactivation of HAUSP in vivo modulates p53 function. Oncogene, 29(9), 1270-9. PMID: 19946331
Lu M, Xia L, Li Y, Wang X, & Hoffman R. (2014) The orally bioavailable MDM2 antagonist RG7112 and pegylated interferon α 2a target JAK2V617F-positive progenitor and stem cells. Blood, 124(5), 771-9. PMID: 24869939
Mizutani T, Fukushi S, Saijo M, Kurane I, & Morikawa S. (2004) Importance of Akt signaling pathway for apoptosis in SARS-CoV-infected Vero E6 cells. Virology, 327(2), 169-74. PMID: 15351204
Wang X, Zhang H, Abel AM, Young AJ, Xie L, & Xie Z. (2014) Role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt1 kinase in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) replication. Archives of virology, 159(8), 2091-6. PMID: 24532302
Fung TS, Huang M, & Liu DX. (2014) Coronavirus-induced ER stress response and its involvement in regulation of coronavirus-host interactions. Virus research, 110-23. PMID: 25304691
Cottam EM, Maier HJ, Manifava M, Vaux LC, Chandra-Schoenfelder P, Gerner W, Britton P, Ktistakis NT, & Wileman T. (2011) Coronavirus nsp6 proteins generate autophagosomes from the endoplasmic reticulum via an omegasome intermediate. Autophagy, 7(11), 1335-47. PMID: 21799305
Huo Y, Fan L, Yin S, Dong Y, Guo X, Yang H, & Hu H. (2013) Involvement of unfolded protein response, p53 and Akt in modulation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus-mediated JNK activation. Virology, 444(1-2), 233-40. PMID: 23850458
DeDiego ML, Nieto-Torres JL, Regla-Nava JA, Jimenez-Guardeño JM, Fernandez-Delgado R, Fett C, Castaño-Rodriguez C, Perlman S, & Enjuanes L. (2014) Inhibition of NF-κB-mediated inflammation in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-infected mice increases survival. Journal of virology, 88(2), 913-24. PMID: 24198408
Yuan L, Chen Z, Song S, Wang S, Tian C, Xing G, Chen X, Xiao ZX, He F, & Zhang L. (2014) p53 Degradation by a Coronavirus Papain-like Protease Suppresses Type I Interferon Signaling. The Journal of biological chemistry. PMID: 25505178
Tan S, Wei X, Song M, Tao J, Yang Y, Khatoon S, Liu H, Jiang J, & Wu B. (2014) PUMA mediates ER stress-induced apoptosis in portal hypertensive gastropathy. Cell death . PMID: 24625987
Zhao Y, Yu S, Sun W, Liu L, Lu J, McEachern D, Shargary S, Bernard D, Li X, Zhao T.... (2013) A potent small-molecule inhibitor of the MDM2-p53 interaction (MI-888) achieved complete and durable tumor regression in mice. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 56(13), 5553-61. PMID: 23786219
Peng M, Yin N, & Li MO. (2014) Sestrins function as guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitors for Rag GTPases to control mTORC1 signaling. Cell, 159(1), 122-33. PMID: 25259925
Are you a woman? Do you find yourself allergic to everything, but water (and sometimes that is up for debate)? Worse, does your husband, boyfriend, or male friend seem to be impervious to any sort of allergy? Well I have good news and bad news, the good news is it isn’t you — or him. The bad news is it’s your hormones.... Read more »
Hox, V., Desai, A., Bandara, G., Gilfillan, A., Metcalfe, D., & Olivera, A. (2014) Estrogen increases the severity of anaphylaxis in female mice through enhanced endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.11.003
As of January 2014, over 50% of adults in the United States own a smartphone; unsurprisingly, there has been a growth in the number of mobile applications (apps) aimed at providing health care services for various mental (and physical) health problems, including eating disorders. The purpose of mobile health technologies is to utilize the functionality of smartphones to deliver a wide range of health services, including providing psychoeducation, treatment services and/or recovery support.
... Read more »
Juarascio AS, Manasse SM, Goldstein SP, Forman EM, & Butryn ML. (2014) Review of Smartphone Applications for the Treatment of Eating Disorders. European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association. PMID: 25303148
Penis, the primary sexual organ that male and hermaphrodite animals use to inseminate sexually receptive mates (usually females and hermaphrodites respectively) during sex. Almost all species use some variation of the organ to transfer sperm into females' eggs in order to create more offsprings.
However, thanks to evolution, some species have come up with some really remarkable and weird ... Read more »
McCracken, K. (2000) The 20-cm Spiny Penis of the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata). The Auk, 117(3), 820. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117[0820:TCSPOT]2.0.CO;2
Sueur, J., Mackie, D., & Windmill, J. (2011) So Small, So Loud: Extremely High Sound Pressure Level from a Pygmy Aquatic Insect (Corixidae, Micronectinae). PLoS ONE, 6(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021089
Yoshizawa, K., Ferreira, R., Kamimura, Y., & Lienhard, C. (2014) Female Penis, Male Vagina, and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect. Current Biology, 24(9), 1006-1010. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.022
Engh, A., Van Horn, R., Szykman, M., Holekamp, K., & Boydston, E. (2007) Courtship and mating in free-living spotted hyenas. Behaviour, 144(7), 815-846. DOI: 10.1163/156853907781476418
We can echo-locate but it is only possible to master well if blind. This is because, to be well done, echolocation uses parts of the visual cortex. A few years ago Thaler et al published the details (see citation below). Here is their description of this natural ability. “The enormous potential of this ‘natural’ echolocation […]... Read more »
Thaler, L., Arnott, S., & Goodale, M. (2011) Neural Correlates of Natural Human Echolocation in Early and Late Blind Echolocation Experts. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020162
Buckingham, G., Milne, J., Byrne, C., & Goodale, M. (2014) The Size-Weight Illusion Induced Through Human Echolocation. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614561267
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