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  • June 18, 2016
  • 04:25 PM
  • 164 views

Mothers with diabetes more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mothers of children with autism and were diagnosed with metabolic conditions during pregnancy, particularly gestational and type 2 diabetes, were more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies in their blood compared to healthy women of children with autism. The presence of these anti-fetal brain autoantibodies has been previously found to be specific to some mothers of children with autism and rare among mothers of children without autism.

... Read more »

  • June 18, 2016
  • 12:05 PM
  • 156 views

A Step Closer To Artificial Human Beings?

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Scientists propose the creation of a synthetic human genome as a follow-up of the Human Genome Project... Read more »

Boeke, J., Church, G., Hessel, A., Kelley, N., Arkin, A., Cai, Y., Carlson, R., Chakravarti, A., Cornish, V., Holt, L.... (2016) The Genome Project-Write. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6850  

  • June 18, 2016
  • 04:57 AM
  • 140 views

A study to watch... probiotics for autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Happy as a pig in...Assuming that I'm still around as and when published, I'd like to think that the final product of the study protocol from Elisa Santocchi and colleagues [1] will eventually find it's way on to this blog when the peer-reviewed results are finally in.Alongside it's ClinicalTrials.gov entry (see here), authors describe an interesting double-blind, placebo-controlled study where the aim is to "determine the effects of supplementation with a probiotic mixture (Vivomixx®) in ASD&n........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2016
  • 03:06 AM
  • 159 views

Epilepsy begets autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals with epilepsy are at increased risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder], especially if epilepsy appears in childhood. Further, ASD is more common in the siblings and offspring of individuals with epilepsy, suggesting shared etiology."That was the research bottom-line from Heléne Sundelin and colleagues [1] reporting results based on examination of the "Swedish Patient Register" with regards to the "risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in individuals with epilepsy and in t........ Read more »

Sundelin, H., Larsson, H., Lichtenstein, P., Almqvist, C., Hultman, C., Tomson, T., & Ludvigsson, J. (2016) Autism and epilepsy. Neurology, 10. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002836  

  • June 16, 2016
  • 03:52 PM
  • 210 views

Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Postpartum depression--a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it--is indeed serious. But depression that begins before or during pregnancy is often more severe because it lasts longer and usually goes undetected until the doctor screens for it after the birth of the baby.

... Read more »

  • June 16, 2016
  • 03:01 AM
  • 151 views

Prevalence of learning disability and autism in Western Australia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The prevalence of ID [intellectual disability] in WA [Western Australia] has increased over the past 10 years compared with previous estimates... This increase is associated in a large part with an increased prevalence of ASDs [autism spectrum disorder] for whom 70% had comorbid ID or an unknown level of ID."Those were some of the findings reported by Jenny Bourke and colleagues [1] (open-access available here). Drawing on data derived from the Intellectual Di........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2016
  • 10:18 AM
  • 186 views

Weird stuff found in recreational drugs: Meth edition

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

As Breaking Bad has taught us, the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine is a very dangerous undertaking. It involves the use of many harmful substances, which depending on the synthesis method include highly corrosive acids and bases, cancer-causing benzene, brain-damaging mercury and lead, jaw-wrecking phosphorus, and blood-breaking sodium cyanide. Blending these various substances together can produce noxious fumes, making gas masks and chemical suits a necessity if you want to avoid get........ Read more »

Cole C, Jones L, McVeigh J, Kicman A, Syed Q, & Bellis M. (2011) Adulterants in illicit drugs: A review of empirical evidence. Drug Testing and Analysis, 3(2), 89-96. PMID: 21322119  

  • June 15, 2016
  • 03:10 AM
  • 132 views

The stability of an Asperger syndrome diagnosis continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The subsample that no longer fulfilled an autism spectrum disorder had full-time jobs or studies (10/11), independent living (100%), and reported having two or more friends (100%)."So said the paper by Adam Helles and colleagues [1] continuing a research theme from this authorship group on what happens to autism, or rather Asperger syndrome, in the longer-term (see here). Indeed, if you have the time, the thesis from Helles covering this area of study is well worth a read (see here).This time a........ Read more »

  • June 14, 2016
  • 03:16 PM
  • 209 views

Even when help is just a click away, stigma is still a roadblock

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Stigma is a major barrier preventing people with mental health issues from getting the help they need. Even in a private and anonymous setting online, someone with greater self-stigma is less likely to take that first step to get information about mental health concerns and counseling.

... Read more »

Lannin, D., Vogel, D., Brenner, R., Abraham, W., & Heath, P. (2016) Does self-stigma reduce the probability of seeking mental health information?. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(3), 351-358. DOI: 10.1037/cou0000108  

  • June 14, 2016
  • 12:18 PM
  • 175 views

Nurturing the Gifted

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My photo of Mozart No one denies the importance of public education. Raising graduation rates and academic ability in the general population are highly accepted education system goals. Additionally, identification of learning disorders and the barriers to academic progress are the focus of many.However, the study of the gifted is perhaps no less important but this topic receives less attention and research.Matthew Makel and colleagues at Duke University and Vanderbi........ Read more »

Kell HJ, Lubinski D, Benbow CP, & Steiger JH. (2013) Creativity and technical innovation: spatial ability's unique role. Psychological science, 24(9), 1831-6. PMID: 23846718  

  • June 14, 2016
  • 08:47 AM
  • 157 views

MaMaLoc: How To Change Cancer Surgeries With Magnets

by Rita dos Santos Silva in United Academics

A small magnetic device might transform breast cancer surgeries... Read more »

Anderson, R., Kimmick, G., McCoy, T., Hopkins, J., Levine, E., Miller, G., Ribisl, P., & Mihalko, S. (2011) A randomized trial of exercise on well-being and function following breast cancer surgery: the RESTORE trial. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 6(2), 172-181. DOI: 10.1007/s11764-011-0208-4  

Lovrics, P., Cornacchi, S., Vora, R., Goldsmith, C., & Kahnamoui, K. (2011) Systematic review of radioguided surgery for non-palpable breast cancer. European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO), 37(5), 388-397. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejso.2011.01.018  

  • June 14, 2016
  • 02:42 AM
  • 159 views

On fatty acid metabolism and autism and ADHD (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had low levels of EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid], DHA [docosahexaenoic acid] and AA [arachidonic acid] and high ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acid] and these correlated significantly with symptoms. Future research should further investigate abnormal fatty acid metabolism in these disorders."So said the research publication by Natalie Par........ Read more »

  • June 13, 2016
  • 08:30 PM
  • 180 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (MAY 2016)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

The May entry of "This Month in Blastocystis Research" focusses especially on the increasing interest in Blastocystis in a gut microbiota context. ... Read more »

Andersen LO, Bonde I, Nielsen HB, & Stensvold CR. (2015) A retrospective metagenomics approach to studying Blastocystis. FEMS microbiology ecology, 91(7). PMID: 26130823  

Stensvold CR, & Clark CG. (2016) Current status of Blastocystis: A personal view. Parasitology international. PMID: 27247124  

O'Brien Andersen L, Karim AB, Roager HM, Vigsnæs LK, Krogfelt KA, Licht TR, & Stensvold CR. (2016) Associations between common intestinal parasites and bacteria in humans as revealed by qPCR. European journal of clinical microbiology . PMID: 27230509  

Ramírez JD, Sánchez A, Hernández C, Flórez C, Bernal MC, Giraldo JC, Reyes P, López MC, García L, Cooper PJ.... (2016) Geographic distribution of human Blastocystis subtypes in South America. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 32-5. PMID: 27034056  

  • June 13, 2016
  • 01:43 PM
  • 200 views

Experimental antibiotic treats deadly MRSA infection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The antibiotic arms race is on, while we are rushing to find new antibiotics, bacteria are working on finding ways around them. With that in mind, a new experimental antibiotic developed by a team of scientists successfully treats the deadly MRSA infection and restores the efficacy of a commonly prescribed antibiotic that has become ineffective against MRSA.

... Read more »

  • June 13, 2016
  • 07:24 AM
  • 142 views

Collateral Damage: Anti-cancer therapy and Autoimmune disease: Part I

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

This post describes what Autoimmune diseases are. Part II will describe the potential of anti-cancer therapies as treatments for Autoimmune disease.... Read more »

Bell, E., & Bird, L. (2005) Autoimmunity. Nature, 435(7042), 583-583. DOI: 10.1038/435583a  

AG McCluskey. (2016) Collateral Damage. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • June 13, 2016
  • 02:34 AM
  • 161 views

A gluten-free diet, gastrointestinal issues and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Given my own research interest in the use of specific dietary modifications as possible intervention tools for some aspects of some autism (see here) I was more than interested to read the results published by Faezeh Ghalichi and colleagues [1] following their randomised-controlled trial of a gluten-free diet (GFD) including some 80 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).As part of an area of much discussion, debate and also heated argument down the years, the author........ Read more »

  • June 12, 2016
  • 10:35 PM
  • 222 views

Seeing Through the Skin

by Aurametrix team in Olfactics and Diagnostics

​Human skin emits light (albeit the glow is extremely weak) and a wide variety of small molecules that may be sometimes "sniffed" by dogs or even other humans. These chemicals tell a story about our health and wellness, things we eat and drink, touch and breathe. Mosquitoes use such emissions to assess our "attractiveness" from indicators such as Indoles (unpleasantly smelling but healthy "inner soil" biomarker) or carbon dioxide (amount of which correlates with the size of the person........ Read more »

Gao W, Emaminejad S, Nyein HY, Challa S, Chen K, Peck A, Fahad HM, Ota H, Shiraki H, Kiriya D.... (2016) Fully integrated wearable sensor arrays for multiplexed in situ perspiration analysis. Nature, 529(7587), 509-14. PMID: 26819044  

Yokota T, Zalar P, Kaltenbrunner M, Jinno H, Matsuhisa N, Kitanosako H, Tachibana Y, Yukita W, Koizumi M, & Someya T. (2016) Ultraflexible organic photonic skin. Science advances, 2(4). PMID: 27152354  

  • June 12, 2016
  • 02:23 PM
  • 199 views

Researchers show copper is essential for burning fat

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Is copper deficiency contributing to the obesity epidemic? Though small amounts of copper are essential to health - oysters, liver, beans and nuts are good sources - copper's role in metabolism has been unclear: Some studies found that it boosted fat burning, others that it depressed it.

... Read more »

Krishnamoorthy, L., Cotruvo, J., Chan, J., Kaluarachchi, H., Muchenditsi, A., Pendyala, V., Jia, S., Aron, A., Ackerman, C., Wal, M.... (2016) Copper regulates cyclic-AMP-dependent lipolysis. Nature Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2098  

  • June 11, 2016
  • 03:51 AM
  • 172 views

On biological markers and "subphenotypes" of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't want to keep you today. Just long enough to draw your attention to the paper by Jones and colleagues [1] regarding "ongoing efforts toward identification of early biological markers specific to subphenotypes of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."The potential biomarkers in question this time around were the cytokines/chemokines - those various signalling molecules that seem to have more than a few connections to important processes like inflammation - and how their profile ("mid-gestat........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2016
  • 02:40 PM
  • 180 views

New tool brings personalized medicine closer

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists have developed a powerful tool for exploring and determining the inherent biological differences between individuals, which overcomes a major hurdle for personalized medicine.

... Read more »

Williams, E., Wu, Y., Jha, P., Dubuis, S., Blattmann, P., Argmann, C., Houten, S., Amariuta, T., Wolski, W., Zamboni, N.... (2016) Systems proteomics of liver mitochondria function. Science, 352(6291). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0189  

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