Some of the most striking images from the refugees who have been trekking across Europe are of families and children. Beyond the immediate perils of their journeys, migration inevitably changes families. As children are usually much quicker to learn new … Continue reading →... Read more »
Bauer, E. (2013) Reconstructing Moral Identities in Memories of Childhood Language Brokering Experiences. International Migration, 51(5), 205-218. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12030
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ian Carroll, PhD Professor of medicine UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Carroll: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric disorder … Continue reading →
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Dr. Ian Carroll, PhD. (2015) Intestinal Bacteria May Play A Role in Anorexia Nervosa. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nynne Nyboe Andersen, MD Department of Epidemiology Research Statens Serum Institut Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: The use of TNF-α inhibitors, including infliximab, adalimumab and certolizumab pegol to treat people with inflammatory bowel … Continue reading →
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Nynne Nyboe Andersen, MD. (2015) Biologics Slightly Increase Risk of Demyelinating Disease In Patients with IBD. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anja Bye, PhD, Senior Researcher Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine National Council of Cardiovascular Disease Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging Medical Faculty Norwegian University of Science and Technology Medical … Continue reading →
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Anja Bye, PhD,. (2015) Pilot Study Tests High Intensity Exercise in Women With Rheumatic Disease. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Gray MD Division of Adolescent Medicine Boston Children’s Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gray: This is a study of the health care costs … Continue reading →
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Susan Gray MD. (2015) Mental Health, Obesity, Orphan Drugs Linked To High Cost Adolescent Care. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs designed to control chronic pain caused by nerve damage. Surprisingly, however, the analysis of clinical trials conducted since 1990 found that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted wholly in the U.S.; trials conducted in Europe or Asia showed no changes in placebo responses over that period.... Read more »
Tuttle, A., Tohyama, S., Ramsay, T., Kimmelman, J., Schweinhardt, P., Bennett, G., & Mogil, J. (2015) Increasing placebo responses over time in U.S. clinical trials of neuropathic pain. PAIN, 1. DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000333
The Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs begin today. I did a PubMed search for recent research related to baseball.One interesting abstract examined the body of research related to elite athletes and longevity.This review article examined 54 peer-reviewed manuscripts that addressed the mortality and longevity of elite athletes. Sixteen of these studies examined longevity in MLB players.I will summarize some of the conclusions from this review.MLB players tended to have longer lifespan than controls by up to an average of around 4.5 yearsPlayers with longer MLB careers tended to have the most extended lifespansSome studies found evidence for slighter shorter lifespans for left-handed players than for right-handed players. A handedness effect was not found in some studies.Years of education contributed to longevity in MLB players, a finding that has been reported in the general populationPosition played and body weight of MLB players contributed to extended life expectancy with lower weight players showing the greatest mortality benefitMLB players were similar to NBA and NFL players in showing an extended longevity compared to the general population. However, NFL players showed higher rates of death due to neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's diseaseThe authors note there are some significant research design issues including potential confounders in this type of research. First, athletic participation at the elite level selects individuals with the highest levels of fitness and health. Additionally, athletes are required to maintain high fitness levels during their playing careers. Many may continue to participate in fitness activities following the end of their career. Elite athletic participation appears to be associated with increased longevity, although this effect may be tempered if high body weight is required for the sport and the position played.Readers with more interest in this research can access the free full-text manuscript by clicking on the PMID link in the citation below.Follow the author on Twitter WRY999Photo of the Duomo cathedral in Florence, Italy is from the author's files.Lemez S, & Baker J (2015). Do Elite Athletes Live Longer? A Systematic Review of Mortality and Longevity in Elite Athletes. Sports medicine - open, 1 (1) PMID: 26301178... Read more »
Lemez S, & Baker J. (2015) Do Elite Athletes Live Longer? A Systematic Review of Mortality and Longevity in Elite Athletes. Sports medicine - open, 1(1), 16. PMID: 26301178
Most camouflaged creatures try to hold still so they won't give away their ruse. But cuttlefish aren't most creatures. These masters of camouflage can change color to seamlessly match their background, and they can keep swimming while they do it.
"Cuttlefish are one of nature's fastest dynamic camouflagers," says Noam Josef, a graduate student at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. The cephalopods can change color in just one tenth of a second. They can also create different... Read more »
Josef N, Berenshtein I, Fiorito G, Sykes AV, & Shashar N. (2015) Camouflage during movement in the European cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 26385328
That title is not a mistake. When I read the recent articles about the earliest example of a decapitation, my first thought was “wow, look at those illustrations; we really […]... Read more »
Strauss A, Oliveira RE, Bernardo DV, Salazar-García DC, Talamo S, Jaouen K, Hubbe M, Black S, Wilkinson C, Richards MP.... (2015) The Oldest Case of Decapitation in the New World (Lapa do Santo, East-Central Brazil). PloS one, 10(9). PMID: 26397983
If you happen to be a nematode, worm-stars are probably your worst nightmare. One minute, you’re swimming around minding your own business. The next, you’ve been sucked into a wildly thrashing mass of your peers, all stuck to each other … Continue reading →... Read more »
Clark, L., & Hodgkin, J. (2015) Leucobacter musarum subsp. musarum sp. nov., subsp. nov.; Leucobacter musarum subsp. japonicus subsp. nov., and Leucobacter celer subsp. astrifaciens subsp. nov., three novel nematopathogenic bacteria isolated from Caenorhabditis, with an emended descript. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.000523
The findings reported by Gayle Windham and colleagues  caught my eye recently and their observations based on the examination of mid-pregnancy serum hormone and protein markers for some 2500 mothers of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with 600,000 controls.Detailing results based on: "Second trimester levels of unconjugated estriol (uE3), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP)", researchers reported that their results: "further support prenatal hormone involvement in ASD risk."I perhaps need to do a little 'defining' before progressing any further with this post. Unconjugated estriol (uE3) refers to an estrogen. It becomes the dominant oestrogen during pregnancy; produced by the baby's liver and placenta. Measured levels of uE3 during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy have been linked to various 'outcomes' including the possibility of Down's syndrome and neural tube defects.Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is another hormone; one that is normally used to confirm pregnancy. During pregnancy, levels of hCG can also be used to determine Down's syndrome. Serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) is the most abundant plasma protein found in the developing foetus. During pregnancy, extremes in levels of MSAFP can indicate issues in pregnancy. Combined together, these various hormones/proteins make up the so-called triple test, that when added to information such as maternal age and stage of pregnancy, can classify a pregnancy as being high or low risk for chromosomal abnormalities. That being said, the test is by no means perfect.Windham et al report some rather complicated results based on adjusted odds ratios (AOR) when it came to autism vs control samples. So: "Lower uE3 (AOR for < 10th percentile vs. 25th-74th percentiles = 1.21, 95 % CI 1.06-1.37), and higher MSAFP (AOR = 1.21, 95 % CI 1.07-1.37 for > 90th percentile) were significantly associated with ASD. A U-shaped relationship was seen for hCG (AOR = 1.16, 95 % CI 1.02-1.32 for < 10th percentile; AOR = 1.19, 95 % CI 1.05-1.36 for > 90th percentile)." Lower uE3 is a trend found in relation to Down's syndrome. Higher MSAFP however runs slightly counter to what has been discussed in relation to Down's syndrome. By contrast, elevations in MSAFP tend to be more readily linked to pregnancies where neural tube defects may be present. What this all means is that yes, these results could indicate the involvement of prenatal hormones and chromosomal issues in relation to 'some' autism, but science still needs to go a little way before anyone talks about a triple test being applied to autism (and the ethical issues that this might bring).I think it's also worthwhile briefly bringing in a few caveats to such pregnancy testing that could be pertinent to other autism research findings. As per other information, a mother's weight during pregnancy can affect what results you get - "Serum marker levels tend to be decreased in heavier women, and increased in lighter women." If you map this on to the research talking about maternal obesity linked to some autism (being careful not to generalise here), you can see how adjustments might have been / have to be made. Ethnicity is another factor that needs to be kept in mind. Also: "AFP and uE3 levels tend to be low (about 8% and 6% respectively) in women with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus." This is particularly interesting in view of the quite consistent literature detailing how gestational diabetes seems to show a connection to risk of offspring autism (see here). Various other factors (vaginal bleeding) can similarly affect results.The Windham results are nevertheless interesting and are strengthened somewhat by the large participant numbers included for study. That other groups have similarly talked about elevations in MSAFP in relation to autism  increases the confidence that there may something further to see in this area, at least for some autism.Music: Al Green - Tired of Being Alone.---------- Windham GC. et al. Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk in Relation to Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Hormone and Protein Markers from Prenatal Screening in California. J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Sep 14. Abdallah MW. et al. Autism spectrum disorders and maternal serum α-fetoprotein levels during pregnancy. Can J Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;56(12):727-34.----------Windham GC, Lyall K, Anderson M, & Kharrazi M (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk in Relation to Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Hormone and Protein Markers from Prenatal Screening in California. Journal of autism and developmental disorders PMID: 26370672... Read more »
Windham GC, Lyall K, Anderson M, & Kharrazi M. (2015) Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk in Relation to Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Hormone and Protein Markers from Prenatal Screening in California. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26370672
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. med. Patrick Meybohm, MHBAConsultant for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine University Hospital Frankfurt Dept. Of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy Frankfurt Germany Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the … Continue reading →
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Prof. Dr. med. Patrick Meybohm, MHBA. (2015) Multicenter Trial Fails To Show Benefit of Remote Ischemic Preconditioning Prior To Heart Surgery. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brendan J. Keating, DPhil Assistant professor of Transplant Surgery Penn Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Genetic studies in transplantation have been plagued by small samples and … Continue reading →
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Brendan J. Keating, DPhil. (2015) Genome Wide Testing May Make Transplantation More Personalized. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that people with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities residing inside their guts compared to healthy individuals and that this bacterial imbalance is associated with some of the psychological symptoms related to the eating disorder.... Read more »
Kleiman, S., Watson, H., Bulik-Sullivan, E., Huh, E., Tarantino, L., Bulik, C., & Carroll, I. (2015) The Intestinal Microbiota in Acute Anorexia Nervosa and During Renourishment. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000247
I like making lists about living things. Colour is a great starting point for such lists, whether they're about body parts infected by microbes or the origins of science words. For this post, I'm going to look at how bones and teeth can take on a bunch of strange colours.The bones of the eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), a resident of trees dotting the eastern parts of Canada and the US, glow pink if you shine an ultraviolet light on them. This weirdness is due to uroporphyrin I, an intermediary in the multi-step pathway by which animals make heme. Heme is found in hemoglobin and enables red blood cells to transport oxygen. Unlike their relatives (at least as far as we know), most eastern fox squirrels have a condition called congenital erythropoietic porphyria (CEP). Essentially, this means one of the enzymes involved in heme manufacture is broken, causing production to stall at the uroporphyrin I step. Fox squirrels have a bunch of this molecule circulating inside them, and it builds up in their skeletons. CEP also occurs in other mammals including humans. Presumably they also have pink bones (I can't find anything to confirm this, which is a total bummer). Another interesting thing is people with CEP are typically very sick, yet fox squirrels seem to get along just fine with it.Several drugs and poisons can turn teeth and/or bones yellow. Being exposed to cadmium over a long period of time (e.g. working at a nickel-cadmium battery factory) can give you yellow teeth. Dogs dosed with thalidomide reportedly end up with yellow-green bones. Some folks even suspect eating a lot of carotene-rich foods such as carrots or sweet potatoes can turn your bones yellow. Yellow tetracycline antibiotics can cause teeth and bones to acquire a yellow-green-brown colour (one paper I read described it as khaki). This is usually seen in people who are exposed while in the womb or during early childhood. As they like to associate with calcium, tetracycline molecules tend to become stably incorporated into bone. They've been detected in skeletons from ancient Sudan and Egypt, a possible explanation being these populations ate food contaminated with tetracycline-producing bacteria. Bones containing tetracycline glow yellow-green under ultraviolet light.This yawning cat, with its yellow teeth, was given tetracycline at a young age (Source)Eating urchins can cause the bones and teeth of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) to turn purple. This is likely due to their absorption of antioxidant polyhydroxynaphthoquinone pigments made by the urchins. By keeping populations of algae-eating urchins in check, sea otters help maintain the kelp forests of the northeastern Pacific Ocean.The colour of a bone can also be altered after death. Artifacts recovered in France dating back to the time of the Roman Empire include fragments of green bone crafted into pins and inlays. It's thought the bones were intentionally coloured by boiling them in a salty acidic solution using a copper container, which resulted in copper being deposited within the bone and turning it green. Blue bones belonging to small animals have been recovered from San Josecito Cave in Mexico. The composition of the bones was altered over the thousands of years they spent in the cave. Specifically, the colour change appears to have been brought about by heating following the incorporation of the metal manganese (oxidizing it to the Mn5+ valence state, which forms blue-coloured salts). This mechanism also appears to explain the origins of turquoise-like ivory (odontolite) acquired from deposits of fossilized mastodon teeth and used decoratively in the Middle Ages.ReferencesBoulos PR, Knoepp SM, Rubin PA. 2007. Green bone. Archives of Ophthalmology 125(3):380-386. [Full text]Chadefaux C, Vignaud C, Chalmin E, Robles-Camacho J, Arroyo-Cabrales J, Johnson E, Reiche I. 2009. Color origin and heat evidence of paleontological bones: Case study of blue and gray bones from San Josecito Cave, Mexico. American Mineralogist 94(1):27-33.Dooley Jr AC, Moncrief ND. 2012. Fluorescence provides evidence of congenital erythropoietic porphyria in 7000-year-old specimens of the eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) from the Devil's Den. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(2):495-497. [First page]Estes JA. 1980. Enhydra lutris. Mammalian Species 133:1-8. [Full text]Ferrand J et al. 2014. On the origin of the green colour of archaeological bone artefacts of the Gallo‐Roman Period. Archaeometry 56(6):1024-1040.... Read more »
Dooley A, & Moncrief N. (2012) Fluorescence provides evidence of congenital erythropoietic porphyria in 7000-year-old specimens of the eastern fox squirrel from the Devil's Den. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(2), 495-497. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2012.639422
Ferrand J, Rossano S, Rollet P, Allard T, Cordier P, Catillon G, Auxiette G, Farges F, & Pont S. (2014) On the origin of the green colour of archaeological bone artefacts of the Gallo-Roman Period. Archaeometry, 56(6), 1024-1040. DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12042
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rodrigo R. Munhoz, MD Hospital Sírio Libanês São Paulo, Brazil Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Munhoz: Chemotherapy-induced early menopause and its impact on quality of life is clinically relevant … Continue reading →
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Rodrigo R. Munhoz, MD. (2015) Can Menopause Be Prevented In Young Women on Chemotherapy For Early Breast Cancer?. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mads E. Jørgensen, MB Cardiovascular Research Center Gentofte Hospital University of Copenhagen, Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years there has been a wide use of beta … Continue reading →
The post Beta Blockers Linked To Increased Risk After Non-Cardiac Surgery In Some Hypertensive Patients appeared first on MedicalResearch.com.
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Mads E. Jørgensen, MB. (2015) Beta Blockers Linked To Increased Risk After Non-Cardiac Surgery In Some Hypertensive Patients. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
Slightly delayed, the "This Month" post is mainly on Blastocystis survyes, detection and host specificity.... Read more »
Abu-Madi M, Aly M, Behnke JM, Clark CG, & Balkhy H. (2015) The distribution of Blastocystis subtypes in isolates from Qatar. Parasites , 465. PMID: 26384209
Osman M, Bories J, El Safadi D, Poirel MT, Gantois N, Benamrouz-Vanneste S, Delhaes L, Hugonnard M, Certad G, Zenner L.... (2015) Prevalence and genetic diversity of the intestinal parasites Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in household dogs in France and evaluation of zoonotic transmission risk. Veterinary parasitology. PMID: 26395822
Ragavan, N., Kumar, S., Chye, T., Mahadeva, S., & Shiaw-Hooi, H. (2015) Blastocystis sp. in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Detection in Stool Aspirates during Colonoscopy. PLOS ONE, 10(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121173
Stensvold CR, Suresh GK, Tan KS, Thompson RC, Traub RJ, Viscogliosi E, Yoshikawa H, & Clark CG. (2007) Terminology for Blastocystis subtypes--a consensus. Trends in parasitology, 23(3), 93-6. PMID: 17241816
Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, & Cotter PD. (2015) Development and Application of a Blastocystis Subtype-Specific PCR Assay Reveals that Mixed-Subtype Infections Are Common in a Healthy Human Population. Applied and environmental microbiology, 81(12), 4071-6. PMID: 25841010
Wang W, Cuttell L, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Inpankaew T, Owen H, & Traub RJ. (2013) Diversity of Blastocystis subtypes in dogs in different geographical settings. Parasites , 215. PMID: 23883734
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlos G. Grijalva, MD MPH Associate Professor Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center Nashville, TN 37212 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Grijalva: Influenza is an important cause of disease. Every year … Continue reading →
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Carlos G. Grijalva, MD MPH. (2015) Flu Vaccines Prevent Over Half of Hospitalizations For Influenza Pneumonia. MedicalResearch.com. info:/
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacqueline Alvarez-Leite MD, Ph.D Federal University of Minas Gerias in Brazil Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Alvarez-Leite : Obesity is now a global epidemic and bariatric surgery is … Continue reading →
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Jacqueline Alvarez-Leite MD, Ph.D. (2015) Gene Variant Helps Predicts Regain Of Weight After Bariatric Surgery . MedicalResearch.com. info:/
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