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  • September 2, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 30 views

Epigenetics: Taking Control of the Music

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

When I try to explain epigenetics to someone, I like to use the musician metaphor. Your genes are the sheet music and how your body reads those genes, that is your body acting like a musician, making those notes it’s own. This is even more evident when you realize that all human cells contain essentially the same DNA sequence. Up until now we've had to be the audience to this genetic symphony, but new research is helping scientists take control of the music.... Read more »

Müller-Ott K, Erdel F, Matveeva A, Mallm JP, Rademacher A, Hahn M, Bauer C, Zhang Q, Kaltofen S, Schotta G.... (2014) Specificity, propagation, and memory of pericentric heterochromatin. Molecular systems biology, 10(8), 746. PMID: 25134515  

  • September 2, 2014
  • 10:41 AM
  • 21 views

Pigeon Gamblers Treat Risk Just Like Humans Do

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If you watch poker coverage on television, you probably won’t hear the commentators compare players to pigeons. Maybe they should. The birds don’t play a great game of hold ‘em, but the way they think about risk might be strikingly similar to the way we do. Researchers discovered this by putting humans and birds through […]The post Pigeon Gamblers Treat Risk Just Like Humans Do appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Ludvig EA, Madan CR, Pisklak JM, & Spetch ML. (2014) Reward context determines risky choice in pigeons and humans. Biology letters, 10(8). PMID: 25165453  

  • September 2, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 30 views

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Is A Preventable Disease

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Yet another study that attempts to make a link between vaccines and autism has been withdrawn by the publishers. Data from the CDC was re-analysed, and low and behold, a link between vaccine timing and autism was drawn, but only for African-American boys. The problems with this paper and the anti-vaccine movement in general are discussed.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 30 views

The epigenetics of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These data are consistent with evidence of multisystem dysregulation in CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and implicate the involvement of DNA modifications in CFS pathology". So said the paper by Wilfred de Vega and colleagues [1] (open-access here) which, I think, represents a bit of a first for CFS with their examination of the possible role of epigenetic modifications in relation to the condition(s) [2].Ladies first @ Wikipedia I have to say that I was really quite excited ........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 02:12 PM
  • 43 views

Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You would think we learn about every part of a cell in biology, but we really don't. Case in point, about 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. The reason you probably haven't heard of these structures is because scientists really don't know what they do even 50 years later. Although they do have an idea about them, these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the ........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 34 views

Tracking the Daily Microbiome

by Stephanie Swift in mmmbitesizescience

Humans are essentially 90% bacteria. These bacteria pepper our skin and hang out in our digestive tracts, helping to break down complex carbohydrates and keeping bad bugs in check. We know how the human microbiome (our collection of bacteria) gets … Continue reading →... Read more »

David LA, Materna AC, Friedman J, Campos-Baptista MI, Blackburn MC, Perrotta A, Erdman SE, & Alm EJ. (2014) Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales. Genome biology, 15(7). PMID: 25146375  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 34 views

New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats

by beredim in Strange Animals

Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, ho........ Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 43 views

Lithium for mood disorder symptoms in autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Modern classroom? @ Wikipedia The paper published by Matthew Siegel and colleagues [1] talking about some preliminary observations on the use of lithium where symptoms of mood disorder might be present in cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) caught my eye recently. Concluding that: "lithium may be a medication of interest for those who exhibit two or more mood disorder symptoms, particularly mania or euphoria/elevated mood" the sentiments of more research-to-do in this area presents........ Read more »

Siegel M, Beresford CA, Bunker M, Verdi M, Vishnevetsky D, Karlsson C, Teer O, Stedman A, & Smith KA. (2014) Preliminary Investigation of Lithium for Mood Disorder Symptoms in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 25093602  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 11:31 PM
  • 45 views

August lives up to its definition: respected and impressive

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

The things we noticed in and around canine science over the past two weeks, Storified in one neat location for your convenience:[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16-31 August 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Feuerbacher E.N. (2014). Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.019 Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of sta........ Read more »

  • August 31, 2014
  • 06:28 PM
  • 47 views

Chikungunya Virus and NDP52: a deadly association?

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is the causative agent of an arthropod (mosquito) transmitted disease which is characterised by a high fever, rash, joint pain, and arthritis which was reported in 1952 in Tanzania but has spread since to Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia and currently epidemic in the Americas. In this post, the importance of p62/SQSTM1 and NDP52 is discussed in the light of apoptosis induction and viral assembly.... Read more »

Kujala P, Ikäheimonen A, Ehsani N, Vihinen H, Auvinen P, & Kääriäinen L. (2001) Biogenesis of the Semliki Forest virus RNA replication complex. Journal of virology, 75(8), 3873-84. PMID: 11264376  

Krejbich-Trotot P, Gay B, Li-Pat-Yuen G, Hoarau JJ, Jaffar-Bandjee MC, Briant L, Gasque P, & Denizot M. (2011) Chikungunya triggers an autophagic process which promotes viral replication. Virology journal, 432. PMID: 21902836  

Mostowy S, Sancho-Shimizu V, Hamon MA, Simeone R, Brosch R, Johansen T, & Cossart P. (2011) p62 and NDP52 proteins target intracytosolic Shigella and Listeria to different autophagy pathways. The Journal of biological chemistry, 286(30), 26987-95. PMID: 21646350  

Xie Z, & Klionsky DJ. (2007) Autophagosome formation: core machinery and adaptations. Nature cell biology, 9(10), 1102-9. PMID: 17909521  

von Muhlinen N, Akutsu M, Ravenhill BJ, Foeglein Á, Bloor S, Rutherford TJ, Freund SM, Komander D, & Randow F. (2012) LC3C, bound selectively by a noncanonical LIR motif in NDP52, is required for antibacterial autophagy. Molecular cell, 48(3), 329-42. PMID: 23022382  

Joubert PE, Werneke SW, de la Calle C, Guivel-Benhassine F, Giodini A, Peduto L, Levine B, Schwartz O, Lenschow DJ, & Albert ML. (2012) Chikungunya virus-induced autophagy delays caspase-dependent cell death. The Journal of experimental medicine, 209(5), 1029-47. PMID: 22508836  

Judith D, Mostowy S, Bourai M, Gangneux N, Lelek M, Lucas-Hourani M, Cayet N, Jacob Y, Prévost MC, Pierre P.... (2013) Species-specific impact of the autophagy machinery on Chikungunya virus infection. EMBO reports, 14(6), 534-44. PMID: 23619093  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 05:34 PM
  • 39 views

Mushroom extracts might prevent dental cavities

by Valerie Ashton in The Molecular Scribe

Recently published research suggests red camphor mushroom extracts might prevent the proliferation of bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease.... Read more »

  • August 31, 2014
  • 02:38 PM
  • 46 views

New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Creating new drug molecules is challenging, developing drugs that are highly effective against a target, but with minimal (or no) toxicity and side-effects to the patient can be an exercise in futility. These drug properties are directly conferred by the 3D structure of the drug molecule. So ideally, the drug should have a shape that is perfectly complementary to a disease-causing target, so that it binds it with high specificity.With that, scientists have developed a synthetic amino acid that c........ Read more »

Chen S. Gopalakrishnan R, Schaer T, Marger F, Hovius R, Bertrand D, Pojer F, Heinis C. (2014) Di-thiol amino acids can structurally shape and enhance the ligand-binding properties of polypeptides. Nature Chemistry. info:/10.1038/nchem.2043

  • August 30, 2014
  • 02:23 PM
  • 51 views

Predictor of Sudden Death helps identify ICD candidates

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

New guidelines for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) identify candidates for implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). These devices help protect patients from arrhythmias (an irregular heartbeat) which can limit blood flow to vital organs, like the brain for example. Identifying which pacents would benefit from an ICD has been difficult. But the new guidelines, which were recently published, will help determine the patients most likely to benefit from ICDs by testing to see ........ Read more »

Perry M. Elliott, (Chairperson) (UK)*, Aris Anastasakis, (Greece), Michael A. Borger, (Germany), Martin Borggrefe, (Germany), Franco Cecchi, (Italy), Philippe Charron, (France), Albert Alain Hagege, (France), Antoine Lafont, (France), Giuseppe Limongelli,. (2014) 2014 ESC Guidelines on diagnosis and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). European Heart Journal . info:/10.1093/eurheartj/ehu284

  • August 30, 2014
  • 08:12 AM
  • 60 views

The Myth Of “Roid Rage”?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Are men who inject testosterone and other anabolic steroids at risk of entering a violent “roid rage“? Many people think so. Whenever a professional athlete commits a violent crime, it’s not long before someone suggests that steroids may have been involved. The most recent example of this is the case of Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver. […]The post The Myth Of “Roid Rage”? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • August 30, 2014
  • 03:34 AM
  • 63 views

Under-recognised co-occurring conditions in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A brief post to direct you to the paper by Nicolaidis and colleagues [1] talking about primary care for adults on the autism spectrum and mention of an issue quite important to this blog: "the recognition of associated conditions"."When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not".Alongside the announcement of what seems like an interesting workshop organised by the US IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) titled: "IACC Workshop on Under-Recognized Co-Occurring Condit........ Read more »

Nicolaidis C, Kripke CC, & Raymaker D. (2014) Primary Care for Adults on the Autism Spectrum. The Medical clinics of North America, 98(5), 1169-1191. PMID: 25134878  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 03:10 PM
  • 55 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
  • 01:31 PM
  • 51 views

August 29, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

Stem cells in adults are responsible for tissue renewal and many cancers. So, the hunt for stem cells is important and has already been successful, with stem cell populations identified in countless types of tissues. Stem cells in the ovary, however, were shy to show themselves until a recent study using a marker for the Wnt protein Lgr5.In adults, stem cells are responsible for maintaining homeostasis during normal wear and tear of a tissue. The ovary and its ovary surface epithelium (OSE) expe........ Read more »

Ng, A., Tan, S., Singh, G., Rizk, P., Swathi, Y., Tan, T., Huang, R., Leushacke, M., & Barker, N. (2014) Lgr5 marks stem/progenitor cells in ovary and tubal epithelia. Nature Cell Biology, 16(8), 745-757. DOI: 10.1038/ncb3000  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 09:25 AM
  • 69 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
  • 09:09 AM
  • 51 views

Folliculin function is highly cell-specific

by Lizzie Perdeaux in BHD Research Blog

Whilst trying to elucidate the role of FLCN, a number of studies have reported opposing results. FLCN has been shown to both activate and inhibit mTOR signalling, AMPK signalling and RhoA signalling and to both potentiate and abrogate cell-cell adhesion. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Khabibullin D, Medvetz DA, Pinilla M, Hariharan V, Li C, Hergrueter A, Laucho Contreras M, Zhang E, Parkhitko A, Yu JJ.... (2014) Folliculin regulates cell-cell adhesion, AMPK, and mTORC1 in a cell-type-specific manner in lung-derived cells. Physiological reports, 2(8). PMID: 25121506  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 06:38 AM
  • 77 views

Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods

by beredim in Strange Animals

Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could she........ Read more »

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