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  • April 21, 2015
  • 02:01 PM

Type 1 diabetes: On the way to an insulin vaccine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Pseudoscience claims about vaccines are seemingly hitting a fever pitch. Despite that, a new vaccine may be on the horizon for children at risk for diabetes, and that is a good thing. Researchers have found that children at risk for type 1 diabetes, who were given daily doses of oral insulin, developed a protective immune response to the disease that could lay the groundwork for a vaccine against the chronic illness.... Read more »

Ezio Bonifacio, PhD, Anette G. Ziegler, MD, Georgeanna Klingensmith, MD, Edith Schober, MD, Polly J. Bingley, MD, Marietta Rottenkolber, Anke Theil, PhD, Anne Eugster, PhD, Ramona Puff, PhD, Claudia Peplow.... (2015) Effects of High-Dose Oral Insulin on Immune Responses in Children at High Risk for Type 1 Diabetes The Pre-POINT Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2015.2928

Jay S. Skyler, MD. (2015) Toward Primary Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes. Journal of American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2015.2054.

  • April 20, 2015
  • 03:36 PM

Black hole hunters tackle a cosmic conundrum

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While mass media was busy misquoting Stephen Hawking and arguing about black holes, astrophysicists have been hard at work trying to solve still unanswered questions about them. Now a team has not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn’t supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.... Read more »

Thomas J. Whalen, Ryan C. Hickox, Amy E. Reines, Jenny E. Greene, Gregory R. Sivakoff, Kelsey E. Johnson, David M. Alexander, & Andy D. Goulding. (2015) Variable Hard X-ray Emission from the Candidate Accreting Black Hole in Dwarf Galaxy Henize 2-10. The Astrophysical journal . arXiv: 1504.03331v1

  • April 19, 2015
  • 01:49 PM

Botox makes unnerving journey into our nervous system

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research might bring a frown to even the most heavily botoxed faces, with scientists finding how some of the potent toxin used for cosmetic surgery escapes into the central nervous system. Researchers have shown how Botox – also known as Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A – is transported via our nerves back to the central nervous system.... Read more »

Wang, T., Martin, S., Papadopulos, A., Harper, C., Mavlyutov, T., Niranjan, D., Glass, N., Cooper-White, J., Sibarita, J., Choquet, D.... (2015) Control of Autophagosome Axonal Retrograde Flux by Presynaptic Activity Unveiled Using Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(15), 6179-6194. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3757-14.2015  

  • April 18, 2015
  • 12:33 PM


by Dave Bridges in Metabolism Preprints

Preprints are papers that are shared, discussed or available prior to peer review publication.  This may sound new, or odd but in reality this happens in closed doors all the time.  People write papers, share them with trusted colleagues and then submit them to journals for peer review.  This would work fine, but for many…... Read more »

Desjardins-Proulx, P., White, E., Adamson, J., Ram, K., Poisot, T., & Gravel, D. (2013) The Case for Open Preprints in Biology. PLoS Biology, 11(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001563  

  • April 17, 2015
  • 07:47 PM

Study links brain anatomy, academic achievement, and family income

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many years of research have shown that for students from lower-income families, standardized test scores and other measures of academic success tend to lag behind those of wealthier students. Well now a new study offers another dimension to this so-called “achievement gap”After imaging the brains of high- and low-income students, they found that the higher-income students had thicker brain cortex in areas associated with visual perception and knowledge accumulation.... Read more »

Allyson Mackey et al. (2015) Students’ Family Income Linked With Brain Anatomy, Academic Achievement. Psychological Science. info:/

  • April 17, 2015
  • 03:56 PM

Artificial blood vessel lets researchers assess clot removal devices

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For the first time, researchers have created an in vitro, live-cell artificial vessel that can be used to study both the application and effects of devices used to extract life-threatening blood clots in the brain. The artificial vessel could have significant implications for future development of endovascular technologies, including reducing the need for animal models to test new devices or approaches.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2015
  • 03:09 PM

Peer review: bad with it, worse without it

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Peer review is seen as one of the pillars - if not the most important - of scientific communication. Despite the difficulties in going through the review process, the authors believe that the process improves the quality of the manuscript, and they want to be published on refereed journals that have a sound evaluation mechanism. Recent cases of attempted manipulation of the peer review process by fake reviews concern the international scientific community, however, it does not undermine its credibility and trust. The peer review crisis can be an opportunity to strengthen and improve the process. … Read More →... Read more »

Nicholas David, Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard, & Kenneth Levine. (2015) Peer review: still king in the digital age. Learned Publishing, 28(1), 15-21. DOI:  

  • April 17, 2015
  • 11:15 AM

The downfall of coal: job trends in a changing energy landscape

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Coal jobs have decreased dramatically in the past seven years, but are renewable energy and natural gas jobs compensating? New policy work reveals the geographical patterns in job changes that do not bode well for coal-producing states.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2015
  • 03:45 PM

Brain development suffers from lack of fish oil fatty acids

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While being inundated with advertisements directed at moms to be, skeptical parents should question the supposed health benefits of anything being sold. However, while recent reports question whether fish oil supplements support heart health, scientists have found that the fatty acids they contain are vitally important to the developing brain. Meaning there might actually be truth in advertising -- this time at least.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2015
  • 08:20 AM

Eyes on Environment: the organic side of fracking

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Little research to date has looked into the organic chemicals from fracking fluid that get into surrounding groundwater - here's how science can help!... Read more »

  • April 14, 2015
  • 03:18 PM

Watch out Atkins: Over eating fatty foods can alter your muscle metabolism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

More bad news on the obesity front and strangely enough, on the popular diet front too — at least for diets like atkins. New research shows that even short term high-fat diets can change your metabolism. So while you might think that you can get away with eating fatty foods for a few days without it making any significant changes to your body, think again.... Read more »

Anderson, A., Haynie, K., McMillan, R., Osterberg, K., Boutagy, N., Frisard, M., Davy, B., Davy, K., & Hulver, M. (2015) Early skeletal muscle adaptations to short-term high-fat diet in humans before changes in insulin sensitivity. Obesity, 23(4), 720-724. DOI: 10.1002/oby.21031  

  • April 14, 2015
  • 08:45 AM

Malaria diagnosis with RDT MAbs

by SS in Scientific scrutiny

Examining the business of patenting MAbs against epitopes described before and the need for caution in using MAbs against epitopes reported to be deleted in different parts of the world... Read more »

  • April 13, 2015
  • 03:37 PM

The placebome: Where genetics and the placebo effect meet

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Placebos have helped to ease symptoms of illness for centuries and have been a fundamental component of clinical research to test new drug therapies for more than 70 years. But why some people respond to placebos and others do not remains under debate.... Read more »

Kathryn T. Hall et al. (2015) Genetics and the placebo effect: the placebome. Trends in Molecular Medicine. info:/10.1016/j.molmed.2015.02.009

  • April 12, 2015
  • 01:36 PM

Neuronal disorders and energy metabolism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists in Japan have have discovered how nerve cells adjust to low energy environments during the brain's growth process. Their study may one day help find treatments for nerve cell damage and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.... Read more »

  • April 11, 2015
  • 01:58 PM

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Light is an extremely useful tool for quantum communication, but it has one major disadvantage: it usually travels at the speed of light and cannot be kept in place. A team of scientists at the Vienna University of Technology has now demonstrated that this problem can be solved – not only in strange, unusual quantum systems, but in the glass fiber networks we are already using today.... Read more »

Sayrin, C., Clausen, C., Albrecht, B., Schneeweiss, P., & Rauschenbeutel, A. (2015) Storage of fiber-guided light in a nanofiber-trapped ensemble of cold atoms. Optica, 2(4), 353. DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000353  

  • April 10, 2015
  • 08:06 PM

The universe is expanding, but how fast?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.... Read more »

  • April 10, 2015
  • 04:34 PM

Enzyme in cosmetic products can cause allergy

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Papain is found naturally in papaya and is often referred to as a "plant-based pepsin" in reference to the digestive enzyme pepsin that is present in the stomach. Researchers looked at the effect of papain directly on the skin of mice as well as on skin cells in the petri dish. Skin consists of several layers joined via cellular connections called "tight junctions". The project team showed that papain induces a breakdown of these cell-cell junctions. On the skin, papain results in a loss of the barrier function.... Read more »

  • April 9, 2015
  • 03:06 PM

Do you have the genes of a rapist?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rape, it’s so taboo that victims are sometimes shamed for “letting” it happening. It’s a dirty word, no one likes the word rape so we come up with other names for it — sexual assault for example. Well new research shows that close relatives of men convicted of sexual offences commit similar offences themselves more frequently than comparison subjects. The study suggests that this is due to genetic factors rather than shared family environment. The study includes all men convicted of sex crime in Sweden during 37 years.... Read more »

Langstrom, N., Babchishin, K., Fazel, S., Lichtenstein, P., & Frisell, T. (2015) Sexual offending runs in families: A 37-year nationwide study. International Journal of Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyv029  

  • April 9, 2015
  • 11:30 AM

The Elsevier you know is not the only Elsevier

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The current science publisher Elsevier may have the same name as the venerable publishing house that published the work of great scientists in the 16th and 17th century, but there is in fact no historical connection other than the name. … Read More →... Read more »

FREDRIKSSON Einar. (2001) The Dutch Publishing Scene: Elsevier and North-Holland. IOS Press.

FREDRIKSSON, E. H. (2001) The Dutch Publishing Scene: Elsevier and North-Holland. A century of science publishing: a collection of essays. info:/

  • April 8, 2015
  • 06:25 PM

First human HIV-antibody trials, results are promising

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While there is no cure for HIV, a select few known as HIV controllers can literally live with it. Over the years work has been done trying to figure out what makes these individuals so special and it has helped researchers in the fight against HIV. While we are still searching for a vaccine, researchers have now found that a single infusion of an experimental anti-HIV antibody called 3BNC117 resulted in significantly decreased HIV levels that persisted for as long as 28 days in HIV-infected individuals, according to Phase 1 clinical trial findings.... Read more »

Caskey, M., Klein, F., Lorenzi, J., Seaman, M., West, A., Buckley, N., Kremer, G., Nogueira, L., Braunschweig, M., Scheid, J.... (2015) Viraemia suppressed in HIV-1-infected humans by broadly neutralizing antibody 3BNC117. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14411  

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