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  • August 29, 2014
  • 03:10 PM
  • 100 views

The Ever Mutating Ebola Virus

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ebola has a nasty reputation for the way it damages the body. It's rightfully earned when you look at the death rate. But when you look at the actual details of an Ebola infection, a surprising fact surfaces: The virus isn't what ends up killing you, it's your own immune system. Sure they are trying different ways to outsmart the virus, but it's mutating... quickly. In fact, scientists have rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes. The hope it to better understand the enem........ Read more »

Gire, S., Goba, A., Andersen, K., Sealfon, R., Park, D., Kanneh, L., Jalloh, S., Momoh, M., Fullah, M., Dudas, G.... (2014) Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259657  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 09:25 AM
  • 121 views

The Friday Five for 8/29/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

5 of the hottest science news stories this week include a lab-grown thymus, big Alzheimer’s news, and how to make the perfect pizza.... Read more »

  • August 29, 2014
  • 03:52 AM
  • 143 views

Oxytocin and autism: the hype?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Consider some excerpts from two recent papers looking at oxytocin (OXT) - the "love hormone"(!) - and the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)...“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage”"These findings indicate that dysregulated OXT biology is not uniquely associated with ASD social phenotypes as widely theorized, but instead variation in OXT biology contributes to important individual differences in human social functioning, including the severe social impairments which characterize ASD........ Read more »

Parker, K., Garner, J., Libove, R., Hyde, S., Hornbeak, K., Carson, D., Liao, C., Phillips, J., Hallmayer, J., & Hardan, A. (2014) Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402236111  

Guastella AJ, Gray KM, Rinehart NJ, Alvares GA, Tonge BJ, Hickie IB, Keating CM, Cacciotti-Saija C, & Einfeld SL. (2014) The effects of a course of intranasal oxytocin on social behaviors in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 25087908  

  • August 28, 2014
  • 04:53 PM
  • 197 views

This is your Brain. This is your Brain on Drugs

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Drugs are bad for the brain. That is (excuse the horrible pun) a no-brainer, but while scientists have seen the after effect drugs have on the brain, we have never seen how they affect the blood flow to the brain. That is of course, until now. A new method for measuring and imaging how quickly blood flows in the brain could help doctors and researchers better understand how drug abuse affects the brain and they are currently testing this new method as we speak.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 182 views

The Things Living on your Toothbrush…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Did you remember to brush? I hope you did, but you may be throwing away your toothbrush soon. Get ready for your daily amount of gross, because have I got a scientific discovery that will make you rethink your dental hygiene. Researchers have found that “solid-head” power toothbrushes have up to 3,000 times less bacteria when compared to “hollow-head” toothbrushes.[…]... Read more »

Morris DW, Goldschmidt M, Keene H, & Cron SG. (2014) Microbial contamination of power toothbrushes: a comparison of solid-head versus hollow-head designs. Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association, 88(4), 237-42. PMID: 25134956  

  • August 28, 2014
  • 11:40 AM
  • 177 views

Gambler Sub-types: Three Distinct Profiles

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One method to advance understanding of a disorder is to use statistical modeling for sub-type or class analysis.Lia Nower and colleagues recently published the results of such an analysis from the large general population data-set known as the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).In this sample, 851 adults 18 years and older were identified with disordered gambling.This group then underwent a type of latent class statistical analysis known as the Pathways........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 128 views

Minocycline for schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Minocycline may improve the psychopathology of schizophrenia, especially the negative symptoms, and seems to be well tolerated".A Bachelors Drawer (apparently) @ Wikipedia That was the finding from the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Oya and colleagues [1] looking at the collected literature on the use of "minocycline augmentation therapy in patients with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotic agents". Augmentation therapy by the way, refers to the addition of minocycline ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 03:23 PM
  • 138 views

The Learning Brain Unravelled

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As an engineer you would think math would come easy to me, it didn’t. Funny thing though, science in general and biology in particular came very easy to me. The big question is why? Why would math, something I need to know how to do for my work and my degree, be so hard to learn? Thankfully science has stepped in to answer the question, at least partially, about why somethings can come so easy to a person and other things (like me and math) take so much longer to pick up.[…]... Read more »

Patrick T. Sadtler,, Kristin M. Quick,, Matthew D. Golub,, Steven M. Chase,, Stephen I. Ryu,, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara,, Byron M. Yu,, & Aaron P. Batista. (2014) Neural constraints on learning. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature13665

  • August 27, 2014
  • 10:58 AM
  • 119 views

Diagnostic Profile in Pathological Gamblers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Behavioral disorders like pathological gambling (PG) rarely occur alone as a single uncomplicated disorder.In a previous post, I noted the overlap of PG with personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse.A recent study from Germany adds to our knowledge of the general diagnostic profile in the PG population.Erbas and Buchner reviewed German national data sources and other German studies to come up with a series of findings:Twelve month prevalence rates ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 127 views

Is it really possible for someone to turn into THE HULK? Don’t make me angry.

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Could epigenetics provide a bit of a biological explanation behind THE HULK?... Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 05:33 AM
  • 144 views

Gaming Against Depression: It Can Really Help

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

A meta-analysis of 19 different studies of game-based interventions shows encouraging results. And besides the big amount of games for youngsters, the researchers specifically point out much can be done with with therapeutic gaming for older adults.... Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 140 views

Prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to start today's post: "Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children". That was a primary finding reported by Hanan El Marroun and colleagues [1] who looked at whether maternal depressive symptoms or a class of quite commonly used pharmaceutics - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - used to manage depressive symptoms, during pregnancy might impact on offspring development."Everything the light touches is our kingd........ Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 07:01 PM
  • 94 views

Narcotics Anonymous for military veterans

by DJMac in Recovery Review

A few years back in a city far, far away, I asked a consultant addiction psychiatrist why he did not refer any of his patients to NA. “There’s not a shred of evidence that it works,” he said. Even then he was misinformed, but I’ve thought many times since then about how his patients were [...]
The post Narcotics Anonymous for military veterans appeared first on Recovery Review.
... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 144 views

Brian Hooker's Hooked Hoax: Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

10 years after the initial study by DeStefano et al. (2004) was conducted, famous anti-vaccine alarmist Brian Hooker, along with Andrew Wakefield, are talking about a "whistleblower" in the CDC claiming that the original data was fraudulent, and was masking a 336% increased risk in ASD in African American boys receiving the MMR vaccine "on time." Did Hooker prove anything in his new study, however? Only that he doesn't understand epidemiology or statistics.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 03:55 AM
  • 113 views

76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Autism is not normally a stand-alone diagnosis. I've mentioned that point a few times on this blog, stressing how a clinical diagnosis of autism appears to increase the risk of various other behavioural, psychiatric and somatic diagnoses also [variably] being present over a lifetime. Part of that comorbidity has been talked about in discussions about ESSENCE (see here) and the excellent document produced by Treating Autism on medical comorbidities occurring alongside autism (see here) for exampl........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 07:13 PM
  • 101 views

Zombie Ant Fungi knows it’s prey

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

So awhile back I was bored and to kill some time wisely I wrote this little bit on real life (sometime potential) zombies. It featured a special section on a particular group of fungi that created some really crazy zombie ants. Ants, which would do the bidding of the fungus, would eventually latch itself in a “death bite” and sprout the parasite from its head. Yeah I know, not a pleasant death. In any case new research is showing just how cool — and evidently smart — these fungi really a........ Read more »

de Bekker C, Quevillon LE, Smith PB, Fleming KR, Ghosh D, Patterson AD, & Hughes DP. (2014) Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite. BMC evolutionary biology, 14(1), 166. PMID: 25085339  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 11:11 AM
  • 107 views

E-cigs Aren't Safe

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Vaping through e-cigs brings out the harms in components of nicotine that are considered nanoparticles that can clog the smaller airways in our lungs.... Read more »

Grana, R., Benowitz, N., & Glantz, S. (2014) E-Cigarettes: A Scientific Review. Circulation, 129(19), 1972-1986. DOI: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.114.007667  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 146 views

Chinese Food And The One Hour Dilemma

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Everyone thinks they have the answer to why you get hungry soon after eating a plate of Chinese food, but it may be more complex than a simple answer. Some people blame MSG, others say it is the higher glycemic index of rice and noodles, while others claim it is the low fat, low protein aspects of Chinese food. New studies shows that MSG, high glycemic index foods and vegetable protein diets do not alter satiety and hunger hormone levels as compared to other meal types. It may be that the satiet........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 123 views

mTOR-regulated autophagy and autism mouse models

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued to read the paper by Guomei Tang and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their assertion that: "mTOR [mammalian target of rapamycin]-regulated autophagy is required for developmental spine pruning, and activation of neuronal autophagy corrects synaptic pathology and social behavior deficits in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] models with hyperactivated mTOR"."Re-verify our range to target... one ping only".If that opening paragraph sounds like scientific gibberish,........ Read more »

Tang, G., Gudsnuk, K., Kuo, S., Cotrina, M., Rosoklija, G., Sosunov, A., Sonders, M., Kanter, E., Castagna, C., Yamamoto, A.... (2014) Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.040  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 10:44 PM
  • 106 views

Is It Fair to Regulate E-Cigarettes?

by Imtiaz Ibne Alam in Medical-Reference - A Pioneer in Medical Blogging

Just by reading the title, it may seem to you that this article is biased -- and written to encourage the use of e-cigarettes. Well, it is not! I've written this article to discuss why this smokeless non-tobacco cigarette should be regulated like an usual cigarette.... Read more »

Schober, W., Szendrei, K., Matzen, W., Osiander-Fuchs, H., Heitmann, D., Schettgen, T., Jörres, R., & Fromme, H. (2014) Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 217(6), 628-637. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.11.003  

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