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  • November 23, 2014
  • 02:09 PM
  • 17 views

Love, it’s in your genes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Most kids worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. While the first few things are of relatively low value in the scientific pursuit, three Chinese researchers have focused on that last question. All in a bid to find out some of the more interesting questions about our genes: Why do some students stay single? What factors determine if a young adult falls in love?... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 02:45 PM
  • 31 views

Mental Health- The invisible barrier for women’s care

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

A while back I wrote a post about mental health and jail sentences, it seems like no one takes mental health seriously and that leads to lack of care for the individual. Well a new study offers even more bad news on the mental health front. Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings – Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams – than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical com........ Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 03:26 AM
  • 32 views

Children as research participants: assessing competence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was brought to writing about this topic after reading an interesting post by Virginia Hughes titled: Personhood Week: Do Kids Count? Among the various points raised in that article was some discussion about minors having medical autonomy and how this might impinge on areas outside of just medical decision-making. It also reminded me about something which was raised on more than one occasion when I undertook a stint on a University Ethics committee...Most people involved in the medica........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 06:39 PM
  • 48 views

Dogtober = Canine science in October

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http:/........ Read more »

Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:54 PM
  • 46 views

The impact of powered prosthetic failures on the user

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Prosthetics have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. With the ongoing wars in the middle east the need for better prosthetics technologies has become more apparent, to this end we now have prosthetics that will allow a person to "feel", we even have motorized prosthetics that will help allow a more fluid walk, but while powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. Becau........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 05:58 AM
  • 50 views

Genomic instability not linked to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An eyebrow was raised upon reading the findings reported by Penelope Main and colleagues [1] concluding that: "it appears unlikely that genomic instability is a feature of the aetiology of autism." Based on results derived in part from "the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay" [2] looking at markers of DNA damage, authors reported very little to see in their small cohort of children with autism (n=35) compared with siblings (n=27) and asymptomatic controls (n=25) although with........ Read more »

Main PA, Thomas P, Angley MT, Young R, Esterman A, King CE, & Fenech MF. (2014) Lack of Evidence for Genomic Instability in Autistic Children as Measured by the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Cytome Assay. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 25371234  

  • November 20, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 58 views

Designing a better flu vaccine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We all hate getting sick and the seasonal flu vaccine can help prevent a time of serious illness. Unfortunately the vaccine is usually an educated guess as to which strains of the flu are going to be most prevalent that year. Well now an international team of researchers has shown that it may be possible to improve the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine by 'pre-empting' the evolution of the influenza virus.... Read more »

Fonville, J., Wilks, S., James, S., Fox, A., Ventresca, M., Aban, M., Xue, L., Jones, T., Le N. M. H., ., Pham Q. T., .... (2014) Antibody landscapes after influenza virus infection or vaccination. Science, 346(6212), 996-1000. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256427  

  • November 20, 2014
  • 11:49 AM
  • 53 views

Living Kidney Donor Consent Forms Don’t Make It Easy to Opt-Out

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

  These researchers’ abstract pretty much says it all (emphasis mine): Ethicists and guidelines have suggested that potential living kidney donors who withdraw from evaluation be offered an ‘alibi.’ We sought to determine what potential living kidney donors are told about their ability to opt out, alibi availability and postwithdrawal confidentiality. We reviewed 148 consent …
Continue reading »
The post Living Kidney Donor Consent Forms Don’t Make It Easy to Opt........ Read more »

  • November 20, 2014
  • 05:30 AM
  • 70 views

Intestinal permeability: an emerging scientific area (also with autism in mind)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

What is the intestinal barrier? What is intestinal permeability? What factors affect the permeability of the intestinal barrier? How do you measure intestinal permeability? How might [altered] intestinal permeability link to health, well-being and various clinical diagnoses?The new triad @ Bischoff SC et al. 2014These are some of the questions tackled by the excellent open-access review by Stephan Bischoff and colleagues [1] which I would like to draw your attention to i........ Read more »

Bischoff, S., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. (2014) Intestinal permeability - a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(1), 189. DOI: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7  

  • November 19, 2014
  • 02:24 PM
  • 70 views

How gut microbiota changes the blood-brain barrier

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Don’t be alarmed, but we are outnumbered. When figuring out what makes us, “us” we need to remember that there are far more bacteria genes in us than human genes, by recent counts it’s something like 360 to 1. We also know that your stomach can change your cravings, but now we know that your stomach affects more than just your thoughts. Your stomach can control what can get to your brain.... Read more »

Viorica Braniste, Maha Al-Asmakh, Czeslawa Kowal, Farhana Anuar, Afrouz Abbaspour, Miklós Tóth, Agata Korecka, Nadja Bakocevic, Ng Lai Guan, Parag Kundu.... (2014) The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. Science Translational Medicine. info:/10.1126/scitranslmed.3009759

  • November 19, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 89 views

Are Dogs Good for Our Health?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

We’re used to reading that they are, but it’s more complicated than you think.Photo: legenda / ShutterstockA new study by González Ramírez and Landero Hernández in Mexico compares dog-owners with non-dog-owners to find out whether or not dogs are beneficial to people’s health and well-being. They wanted to improve on the design of many previous studies by comparing two groups of people who were similar except for the fact that some owned dogs and some did not.There are several reasons w........ Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 58 views

Down Syndrome Disintegrative Disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Down syndrome disintegrative disorder seems an appropriate name for this newly recognized clinical association, which may be due to autoimmunity.""Hi, everyone. I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!"That was the bottom line of the study published by Gordon Worley and colleagues [1] reviewing a small number of cases (N=11) of children diagnosed with Down's syndrome presenting at clinic "with a history of new-onset... or worsening... autistic characteristics" among other things. Based on some potentiall........ Read more »

  • November 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 82 views

Does brain training really work?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder if you could be the next Einstein if only you could do some brain training? Well as it turns out, while computer based ‘brain training’ can boost memory and thinking skills in older adults, many programs promoted by the $1 billion brain training industry are ineffective.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2014
  • 01:15 PM
  • 64 views

From H. pylori to Spanish colonialism: the scales of cancer.

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Yesterday was the first day of the 4th Integrated Mathematical Oncology Workshop here at Moffitt. This year, it is run jointly with the Center for Infection Research in Cancer and is thus focused on the interaction of infection disease and cancer. This is a topic that I have not focused much attention on — except […]... Read more »

Kodaman, N., Pazos, A., Schneider, B.G., Piazuelo, M.B., Mera, R., Sobota, R.S., Sicinschi, L.A., Shaffer, C.L., Romero-Gallo, J., de Sablet, T.... (2014) Human and Helicobacter pylori coevolution shapes the risk of gastric disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(4), 1455-60. PMID: 24474772  

  • November 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 75 views

Feel like I-dosing? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

"Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product...... Read more »

  • November 18, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 48 views

Paediatric congenital heart disease and autism risk?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children aged 2-17 with CHD [congenital heart disease] were more likely than those without CHD to have had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (crude OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.9-11.0) or intellectual disability (Crude OR, 9.1; 95% CI, 5.4-15.4)".The traveller @ Wikipedia That was a key conclusion reported in the study by Hilda Razzaghi and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of data from "the 1997-2011 National Health Interview Survey", a US initiative which aims to pro........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 03:33 PM
  • 65 views

The (Re)discovery of a major brain pathway

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It was like something out of a mystery movie, a couple of years ago a scientist, looking at dozens of MRI scans of human brains noticed something surprising. A large, fiber pathway that seemed to be part of the network of connections that process visual information showed up on the scans, but the researcher couldn’t find it mentioned in any of the modern-day anatomy textbooks he had.... Read more »

Brian Wandell, Jason Yeatman, & Kevin Weiner. (2014) The vertical occipital fasciculus: A century of controversy resolved by in vivo measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1418503111

  • November 17, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 69 views

Social anxiety in one in four adults with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Twenty-eight percent (14 of 50) of individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for SAD [social anxiety disorder]"."I am Vulcan, sir. We embrace technicality."So said the findings reported by Susanne Bejerot and colleagues [1] (open-access) as part of their investigations looking at SAD occurrence among adults diagnosed with ASD. Once again the sometimes very disabling issue of anxiety resurfaces with autism in mind. Before going on, I'm minde........ Read more »

Bejerot S, Eriksson JM, & Mörtberg E. (2014) Social anxiety in adult autism spectrum disorder. Psychiatry research. PMID: 25200187  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 66 views

Canine science catch up: 16-30 September 2014

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Gosh, it's been a busy ride since posting the excellent guest post by research, Cat Reeve, about her interesting detector dog research.  So now it's time to play catch up, starting with the canine science related things that we noticed in the second half of September, captured with the help of Storify - did you miss any of these?[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16 - 30 September 2014]" on Storify]Further reading (some of the abstracts from Canine Science Forum 2014 now available):We........ Read more »

Westgarth Carri, & Hayley E. Christian. (2014) How can we motivate owners to walk their dogs more?. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.023  

Horowitz Alexandra, & Hecht Julie . (2014) Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.052  

Browne Clare M., T. Mary Foster, & James S. McEwan. (2014) Dog training: Reinforcement timing and owner body language. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.059  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 78 views

Soldiers and Suicide: A familiar tale

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As a Marine, there is a special place in my heart for all things military. While most protesters are busy arguing about the people who are dying overseas, there is an even more disheartening statistic — the suicide statistics of service members here at home. Suicide is an ugly word, so it’s no surprise that there is not a large movement fighting for better care and a new study done on soldiers doesn’t help.... Read more »

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