What does lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatic heart disease have in common? All of these (and many other) apparently unrelated disorders are caused by autoimmunity, in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack normal, healthy cells and tissues. Currently considered incurable, these autoimmune diseases can be managed, but to varying degrees and not without serious side effects. Moreover, autoimmune diseases include a wide range of dysfunct........ Read more »
Copp JA, Fang RH, Luk BT, Hu CM, Gao W, Zhang K, & Zhang L. (2014) Clearance of pathological antibodies using biomimetic nanoparticles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(37), 13481-6. PMID: 25197051
Most of our understanding of what genes do comes from computational predictions, rather than actual experiments. For almost any given gene that is sequenced, its function is determined by putting its sequence through one or more function annotation algorithms. Computational annotation is cheaper and more feasible than cloning, translating, and assaying the gene product (typically a protein) to find out exactly what it does. Experiments can be long, expensive and, in many cases, impossible to pe........ Read more »
Jiang, Y., Clark, W., Friedberg, I., & Radivojac, P. (2014) The impact of incomplete knowledge on the evaluation of protein function prediction: a structured-output learning perspective. Bioinformatics, 30(17). DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu472
Alzheimer’s diagnosis is important, like the famous slogan “with a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” detecting alzheimer’s is important in order to stave off cognitive decline. A just like a stroke time lost is brain lost. Unfortunately early diagnosis has been hard to come by, but now researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in a person. The best part, they say this will work even before the........ Read more »
Hawkins KM, & Sergio LE. (2014) Visuomotor Impairments in Older Adults at Increased Alzheimer's Disease Risk. Journal of Alzheimer's disease. PMID: 24919768
A study in 2012 found that approximately 7.2% of adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder (a term that covers any person for whom their drinking causes distress or harm). That adds up to approximately 17 million Americans! Treatments for alcoholism, such as behavioral therapies or medications, can often be ineffective in […]... Read more »
Shohat-Ophir G., R. Azanchi, H. Mohammed, & U. Heberlein. (2012) Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila. Science, 335(6074), 1351-1355. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1215932
Lee Hyun-Gwan, Jennifer S. Dunning, & Kyung-An Han. (2008) Recurring Ethanol Exposure Induces Disinhibited Courtship in Drosophila. PLoS ONE, 3(1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001391
Devineni Anita V. (2009) Preferential Ethanol Consumption in Drosophila Models Features of Addiction. Current Biology, 19(24), 2126-2132. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.070
One concern many BHD patients have is whether it is safe to take commercial flights, or whether this would increase the chances of a pneumothorax. A recently published study, by Professor Pieter Postmus and his team at the VU Medical … Continue reading →... Read more »
Postmus PE, Johannesma PC, Menko FH, & Paul MA. (2014) In-Flight Pneumothorax: Diagnosis May Be Missed because of Symptom Delay. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 190(6), 704-5. PMID: 25221882
An interesting paper by David Geier and colleagues  (open-access here) caught my eye recently, concluding that there was a lack of support for the suggestion that: "increasing parental age was associated with increasing autism spectrum disorder phenotypic severity"."the snozzberries taste like snozzberries".Before progressing through the paper and its possible implications, the eagle-eyed out there might have already spotted the name Dr Brian Hooker on the authorship list of the Geier paper. ........ Read more »
Geier DA, Hooker BS, Kern JK, Sykes LK, & Geier MR. (2014) An Evaluation of the Effect of Increasing Parental Age on the Phenotypic Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 25163730
The beautiful experience of alleviating an itch, the vigorous scratching of skin cells, and the white flakes that float away slowly and gently like a whimsical dream.If only those with chronic itching problems could describe their conditions in such a serene way. In the latest edition of Nature Neuroscience, Diana Bautista and colleagues (2014) review the literature on the underlying mechanism of the itch at the molecular and cellular level within the peripheral and central nervous systems. They........ Read more »
Bautista, D., Wilson, S., & Hoon, M. (2014) Why we scratch an itch: the molecules, cells and circuits of itch. Nature Neuroscience, 17(2), 175-182. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3619
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