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  • August 3, 2015
  • 12:50 PM
  • 14 views

New approach for making vaccines for deadly diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have devised an entirely new approach to vaccines – creating immunity without vaccination. The team has demonstrated that animals injected with synthetic DNA engineered to encode a specific neutralizing antibody against the dengue virus were capable of producing the exact antibodies necessary to protect against disease, without the need for standard antigen-based vaccination. Importantly, this approach, termed DMAb, was rapid, protecting animals within a week of administration.... Read more »

Flingai, S., Plummer, E., Patel, A., Shresta, S., Mendoza, J., Broderick, K., Sardesai, N., Muthumani, K., & Weiner, D. (2015) Protection against dengue disease by synthetic nucleic acid antibody prophylaxis/immunotherapy. Scientific Reports, 12616. DOI: 10.1038/srep12616  

  • August 3, 2015
  • 02:34 AM
  • 25 views

Screening for autism in young children: 6 questions to ask

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Question 1: Does your child ever point with their index finger to ask for something?Question 2: Is your child able to imitate you or your actions, for example if you pull a face?Question 3: Does your child ever use pretend play, for example to talk on a phone or take care of a doll?Question 4: Does your child look at something across a room when you point to it?Question 5: Does your child understand what people say?Question 6: Does your child ever bring an object to you to show you something?The........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2015
  • 01:29 PM
  • 41 views

Perfectionism linked to burnout at work, school and sports

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school or on the playing field, leading to stress, burnout and potential health problems, according to new research. In the first meta-analysis of the relationship between perfectionism and burnout, researchers analyzed the findings from 43 previous studies conducted over the past 20 years. It turns out perfectionism isn’t all bad.... Read more »

  • August 1, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 50 views

Childhood cancer cells drain immune system’s batteries

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease, according to new research. Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have discovered that the cells in neuroblastoma – a rare type of childhood cancer that affects nerve cells – produce a molecule that breaks down arginine, one of the building blocks of proteins and an essential energy source for immune cells.... Read more »

  • August 1, 2015
  • 03:16 AM
  • 57 views

Methylphenidate: a repairer of the 'oxidative balance' in ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A fairly quick post for you today based on the findings reported by Esra Guney and colleagues [1] who examined whether markers of oxidative stress - an imbalance "between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage" - might be something to look at when it comes to cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).They concluded that, based on a small-ish sample........ Read more »

Guney, E., Cetin, F., Alisik, M., Tunca, H., Tas Torun, Y., Iseri, E., Isik Taner, Y., Cayci, B., & Erel, O. (2015) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and oxidative stress: A short term follow up study. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.003  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 74 views

Crystal clear images uncover secrets of hormone receptors

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many hormones and neurotransmitters work by binding to receptors on a cell’s exterior surface. This activates receptors causing them to twist, turn and spark chemical reactions inside cells. NIH scientists used atomic level images to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. Their description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders and the target of many d........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:00 AM
  • 63 views

How to make rice healthier for you and the environment

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

An innovative way of cooking rice that removes more arsenic than the conventional method and a new strain of high-starch, low-methane rice are discussed.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 08:03 AM
  • 58 views

What if There Were Live Music at the Doctor’s Office?

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

There was a really interesting study published earlier this year that had live music in a medical waiting room. The aim of the study was to learn more about the staff’s perceptions of this live music, but as you might expect, the live … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 03:34 AM
  • 55 views

Careful now: oral colostrum MAF and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I should perhaps begin this slightly longer than usual post by reiterating my well-trodden caveat on this blog about not giving anything that looks, sounds or smells like medical or clinical advice during my musings. This is a blog [mainly] about peer-reviewed science, nothing more. Added to that, I'm not your Dr Ross and you are not my patient.So... I've been seeing quite a bit about Gc-MAF (Gc Macrophage Activating Factor) in the news recently. The various headlines about autism and Gc-MAF (se........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 01:55 PM
  • 57 views

Paralyzed men move legs with new non-invasive spinal cord stimulation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Five men with complete motor paralysis were able to voluntarily generate step-like movements thanks to a new strategy that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to their spinal cords. The strategy, called transcutaneous stimulation, delivers electrical current to the spinal cord by way of electrodes strategically placed on the skin of the lower back.... Read more »

Gerasimenko, Y., Lu, D., Modaber, M., Zdunowski, S., Gad, P., Sayenko, D., Morikawa, E., Haakana, P., Ferguson, A., Roy, R.... (2015) Noninvasive Reactivation of Motor Descending Control after Paralysis. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/neu.2015.4008  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 68 views

New Insights into Human De Novo Mutations

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

De novo mutations — sequence variants that are present in a child but absent from both parents — are an important source of human genetic variation. I think it’s reasonable to say that most of the 3-4 million variants in any individual’s genome arose, once upon a time, as de novo mutations in his or her ancestors. […]... Read more »

Francioli LC, Polak PP, Koren A, Menelaou A, Chun S, Renkens I, Genome of the Netherlands Consortium, van Duijn CM, Swertz M, Wijmenga C.... (2015) Genome-wide patterns and properties of de novo mutations in humans. Nature genetics, 47(7), 822-6. PMID: 25985141  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:06 AM
  • 69 views

Inflammatory bowel disease and autism: increased prevalence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin today's post:"Across each population with different kinds of ascertainment, there was a consistent and statistically significant increased prevalence of IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] in patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] than their respective controls and nationally reported rates for pediatric IBD."That was the conclusion reached in the paper published by Finale Doshi-Velez and colleagues [1] including one very notable name on the authorship list, Is........ Read more »

Doshi-Velez F, Avillach P, Palmer N, Bousvaros A, Ge Y, Fox K, Steinberg G, Spettell C, Juster I, & Kohane I. (2015) Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID: 26218138  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:08 PM
  • 83 views

We can build it better: The first artificial ribosome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell. The engineered ribosome may enable the production of new drugs and next-generation biomaterials and lead to a better understanding of how ribosomes function.... Read more »

Orelle, C., Carlson, E., Szal, T., Florin, T., Jewett, M., & Mankin, A. (2015) Protein synthesis by ribosomes with tethered subunits. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14862  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 07:48 PM
  • 78 views

Prostate cancer is 5 different diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer Research UK scientists have for the first time identified that there are five distinct types of prostate cancer and found a way to distinguish between them, according to a landmark study. The findings could have important implications for how doctors treat prostate cancer in the future, by identifying tumours that are more likely to grow and spread aggressively through the body.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 02:09 PM
  • 90 views

The “Invisible Web” Undermines Health Information Privacy

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

What do the third parties do with your data? We do not really know because the laws and regulations are rather fuzzy here. We do know that Google, Facebook and Twitter primarily make money by advertising so they could potentially use your info and customize the ads you see. Just because you visited a page on breast cancer does not mean that the "Invisible Web" knows your name and address but they do know that you have some interest in breast cancer. It would make financial sense to sen........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 03:42 AM
  • 74 views

Gluten psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The present case-report confirms that psychosis may be a manifestation of NCGS [non-coeliac gluten sensitivity], and may also involve children; the diagnosis is difficult with many cases remaining undiagnosed."Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] (open-access) provide an interesting read in today's post on how diet and psychiatry might once again be linked. Presenting a case report of a 14-year old girl coming to the attention of clinical services "for psychotic symptoms that were apparently ........ Read more »

Lionetti, E., Leonardi, S., Franzonello, C., Mancardi, M., Ruggieri, M., & Catassi, C. (2015) Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients, 7(7), 5532-5539. DOI: 10.3390/nu7075235  

  • July 28, 2015
  • 01:35 PM
  • 82 views

Where memory is encoded and retrieved

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged? This question has kept neuroscientists busy for a long time. Researchers at the Mercator Research Group “Structure of Memory” at RUB have now found out that the same brain cells exhibit activity in both processes.... Read more »

  • July 28, 2015
  • 03:35 AM
  • 91 views

Adult outcomes following childhood psychiatric problems

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A long quote to begin:"If the goal of public health efforts is to increase opportunity and optimal outcomes, and to reduce distress, then there may be no better target than the reduction of childhood psychiatric distress—at the clinical and subthreshold levels."That was the bottom line reported by William Copeland and colleagues [1] (open-access) who set out to test whether psychiatric problems presenting in childhood can "adversely affect adult functioning even if the problems themselves do n........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 02:49 PM
  • 97 views

Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientific experiments with the herpes virus such as the one that causes Marek’s disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and food-chain economics, as well as for other diseases that affect humans and agricultural animals.... Read more »

Andrew F. Read, Susan J. Baigent, Claire Powers, Lydia B. Kgosana, Luke Blackwell, Lorraine P. Smith, David A. Kennedy, Stephen W. Walkden-Brown, & Venugopal K. Nair. (2015) Imperfect Vaccination Can Enhance the Transmission of Highly Virulent Pathogens. PLOS Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002198

  • July 27, 2015
  • 03:08 AM
  • 95 views

Incontinence and paediatric autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Urinary incontinence - "the unintentional passing of urine" - is a fairly common issue affecting millions of people of all ages worldwide. Achieving full bladder and bowel control is seen as a typical part of growing up but for some children, particularly those diagnosed with a behavioural or developmental condition, issues with incontinence can persist much later into life [1].The findings reported by Alexander von Gontard and colleagues [2] bring the issue of incontinence into the autism resea........ Read more »

von Gontard A, Pirrung M, Niemczyk J, & Equit M. (2015) Incontinence in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of pediatric urology. PMID: 26052001  

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