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  • July 2, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 9 views

Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.... Read more »

  • July 2, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 10 views

Why Should You Care How Bacteria Fight Viruses?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Research into how bacteria fight viruses has spurred a revolution in genetic engineering referred to as "CRISPR". CRISPR provides unprecedented ways to easily modify the genome of any living creature, including humans.... Read more »

Garneau, J., Dupuis, M., Villion, M., Romero, D., Barrangou, R., Boyaval, P., Fremaux, C., Horvath, P., Magadán, A., & Moineau, S. (2010) The CRISPR/Cas bacterial immune system cleaves bacteriophage and plasmid DNA. Nature, 468(7320), 67-71. DOI: 10.1038/nature09523  

Horie, M., Honda, T., Suzuki, Y., Kobayashi, Y., Daito, T., Oshida, T., Ikuta, K., Jern, P., Gojobori, T., Coffin, J.... (2010) Endogenous non-retroviral RNA virus elements in mammalian genomes. Nature, 463(7277), 84-87. DOI: 10.1038/nature08695  

Baltimore, D., Berg, P., Botchan, M., Carroll, D., Charo, R., Church, G., Corn, J., Daley, G., Doudna, J., Fenner, M.... (2015) A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification. Science, 348(6230), 36-38. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1028  

  • July 2, 2015
  • 02:34 AM
  • 21 views

Acute bipolar depression and immune alterations

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Individuals with acute bipolar depression show immune alterations. Some of the alterations are similar to those found in acute mania."That was the bottom line reported by Faith Dickerson and colleagues [1] following their analysis of blood samples provided by "82 individuals with acute bipolar depression, 147 with acute mania, and 280 controls." Looking for the presence of various antibodies to "human herpesviruses, gliadin, Toxoplasma gondii, and endogenous retroviruses as well as for C-reacti........ Read more »

Dickerson F, Katsafanas E, Schweinfurth LA, Savage CL, Stallings C, Origoni A, Khushalani S, Lillehoj E, & Yolken R. (2015) Immune alterations in acute bipolar depression. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. PMID: 26061032  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 02:19 PM
  • 38 views

New epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For decades, researchers in the genetics field have theorized that the protein spools around which DNA is wound, histones, remain constant in the brain, never changing after development in the womb. Now, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered that histones are steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life – a process which helps to switch genes on and off.... Read more »

Maze, I., Wenderski, W., Noh, K., Bagot, R., Tzavaras, N., Purushothaman, I., Elsässer, S., Guo, Y., Ionete, C., Hurd, Y.... (2015) Critical Role of Histone Turnover in Neuronal Transcription and Plasticity. Neuron, 87(1), 77-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.014  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 09:39 AM
  • 23 views

Video Tip of the Week: MorphoGraphX, morphogenesis in 4D

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s Video Tip of the Week covers a different aspect of bioinformatics than some of our other tips. But having been trained as a cell biologist, I do consider imaging software as an important part of the crucial software ecosystem. Also, since it’s a holiday week and traffic may be light in the US, […]... Read more »

Barbier de Reuille, P., Routier-Kierzkowska, A., Kierzkowski, D., Bassel, G., Schüpbach, T., Tauriello, G., Bajpai, N., Strauss, S., Weber, A., Kiss, A.... (2015) MorphoGraphX: A platform for quantifying morphogenesis in 4D. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.05864  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 27 views

Thinking Asymmetrically About Hormones

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Your endocrine glands are stimulated or suppressed by hormones. They in turn dump hormones into the blood. Blood goes everywhere equally. So why is your left adrenal gland bigger than your right? And why is the size difference larger in domesticated foxes as opposed to wild foxes? For that matter, why is the size of the right lobe of your thyroid gland depend on which hand you use to write!?... Read more »

Trut LN, Prasolova LA, Kharlamova AV, & Plyusnina IZ. (2002) Directional left-sided asymmetry of adrenals in experimentally domesticated animals. Bulletin of experimental biology and medicine, 133(5), 506-9. PMID: 12420075  

Hojaij, F., Vanderlei, F., Plopper, C., Rodrigues, C., Jácomo, A., Cernea, C., Oliveira, L., Marchi, L., & Brandão, L. (2011) Parathyroid gland anatomical distribution and relation to anthropometric and demographic parameters: a cadaveric study. Anatomical Science International, 86(4), 204-212. DOI: 10.1007/s12565-011-0111-0  

  • July 1, 2015
  • 06:24 AM
  • 33 views

Offspring autism risk and advancing parental age (differences)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Parental age at offspring conception/birth in relation to offspring autism risk has been a recurrent theme in autism research circles for quite a few years now. I've covered it more than once on this blog (see here for example) and the various suggestions that advancing parental age in particular, might elevate the risk of offspring autism.Set in this context, the paper by Sven Sandin and colleagues [1] (open-access) (a name not unfamiliar to this blog) adds to the research evidence based on the........ Read more »

Sandin S, Schendel D, Magnusson P, Hultman C, Surén P, Susser E, Grønborg T, Gissler M, Gunnes N, Gross R.... (2015) Autism risk associated with parental age and with increasing difference in age between the parents. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 26055426  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 03:28 PM
  • 35 views

Molecular bits of living things with fun names

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Most of the fancy words used by life science folks are dry but effective. However, every once in a while a researcher will discover a new gene or small molecule and decide to gift it with a fun and creative name.The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens has a gene called makes caterpillars floppy (mcf), which encodes a toxin that causes caterpillars to go all floppy like before it kills them. P. luminescens is a super interesting little bug. It hangs out in the gut of a worm that infects insects, h........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 02:56 PM
  • 47 views

Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Previous studies have shown that men find female faces more attractive when the women are ovulating, but the visual clues that allow this are unclear. Now, new research investigating whether it might be to do with subtle changes in skin colour has shown that women’s faces do increase in redness during ovulation, but the levels of change are just under the detectable range of the human eye.... Read more »

Hannah Rowland, & Robert Burriss. (2015) Women’s faces get redder at ovulation, but human eyes can’t pick up on it. PLOS ONE. info:/

  • June 30, 2015
  • 12:32 PM
  • 34 views

Omega-3 supplements and antioxidants may help with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Here’s more evidence that fish oil supplementation and antioxidants might be beneficial for at least some people facing Alzheimer’s disease. A new report describes the findings of a very small study in which people with mild clinical impairment, such as those in the very early stages of the disease, saw clearance of the hallmark amyloid-beta protein and reduced inflammation in neurological tissues. Although the findings involved just 12 patients over the course of 4 to 17 months, the finding........ Read more »

Fiala M, Halder RC, Sagong B, Ross O, Sayre J, Porter V, & Bredesen DE. (2015) ω-3 Supplementation increases amyloid-β phagocytosis and resolvin D1 in patients with minor cognitive impairment. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 25805829  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 05:06 AM
  • 41 views

Low glycemic index diet reduces symptoms of mouse autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "Overall, the manuscript supports the idea that ASD [autism spectrum disorder] results from gene–environment interactions and that in the presence of a genetic predisposition to ASD, diet can make a large difference in the expression of the condition."The manuscript in question was by Antonio Currais and colleagues [1] reporting some rather interesting results based on the 'dangermouse' that is the BTBR mouse model of autism. Researchers from the Salk Inst........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2015
  • 07:55 PM
  • 53 views

You may already be beating cancer

by Angela Reisetter in Steeped in Science

A look at living with disease close at hand, using a couple different papers. Living with Risk.... Read more »

  • June 29, 2015
  • 03:26 PM
  • 59 views

How your brain knows it’s summer

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers led by Toru Takumi at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a key mechanism underlying how animals keep track of the seasons. The study shows how circadian clock machinery in the brain encodes seasonal changes in daylight duration through GABA activity along with changes in the amount of chloride located inside certain neurons.... Read more »

Myung J, Hong S, DeWoskin D, Schutter E, Forger, DB, and Takumi T. (2015) GABA-mediated repulsive coupling between circadian clock neurons in the SCN encodes seasonal time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1421200112

  • June 29, 2015
  • 01:51 PM
  • 56 views

The fear you experience playing video games is real, and you enjoy it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

With the advent of video games, a frequently asked question has been whether we get as engrossed in them emotionally as we do when we see a scary movie. The answer is yes and many game players enjoy the fear caused by the zombies, disfigured humans and darkness they often encounter, the researchers found.... Read more »

  • June 29, 2015
  • 04:57 AM
  • 64 views

Fermented foods and social anxiety?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Stumbling across a headline that reads: 'Study Finds Decreased Social Anxiety Among Young Adults Who Eat Fermented Foods' was bound to pique my blogging interest. When I eventually tracked down the source paper behind the headline I became more and more intrigued as today I bring to your attention the study findings reported by Matthew Hilimire and colleagues [1].Implementing "a cross-sectional approach to determine whether consumption of fermented foods likely to contain probiotics interac........ Read more »

Hilimire MR, DeVylder JE, & Forestell CA. (2015) Fermented foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model. Psychiatry research, 228(2), 203-8. PMID: 25998000  

  • June 28, 2015
  • 03:10 PM
  • 49 views

Blood & Fog: The Military's Germ Warfare Tests in San Francisco

by Rebecca Kreston in BODY HORRORS

The Nuremberg Code was drafted in 1947 following the appalling revelations of human experimentation committed in Nazi concentration camps. The overarching goal of the Code was to establish a set of rules for the ethical conduct of research using human subjects, guaranteeing that the rights and welfare of such participants would be protected. Two important principles guide and define this Code: the concept of voluntary, informed consent and that no experiment shall be conducted in which "there i........ Read more »

WHEAT RP, ZUCKERMAN A, & RANTZ LA. (1951) Infection due to chromobacteria; report of 11 cases. A.M.A. archives of internal medicine, 88(4), 461-6. PMID: 14867953  

  • June 28, 2015
  • 12:58 PM
  • 66 views

Rare neurons enable mental flexibility

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Behavioral flexibility — the ability to change strategy when the rules change — is controlled by specific neurons in the brain, Researchers have confirmed. Cholinergic interneurons are rare — they make up just one to two percent of the neurons in the striatum, a key part of the brain involved with higher-level decision-making. Scientists have suspected they play a role in changing strategies, and researchers at OIST recently confirmed this with experiments.... Read more »

Aoki, S., Liu, A., Zucca, A., Zucca, S., & Wickens, J. (2015) Role of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons in Set-Shifting in the Rat. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(25), 9424-9431. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0490-15.2015  

  • June 28, 2015
  • 10:11 AM
  • 42 views

Cellular Senescence in Regeneration

by Max_Yun in the Node

Salamanders are remarkable organisms. Following the amputation or loss of complex structures such as parts of their eyes, hearts and brains, tails -including the spinal cord-, jaws and even full limbs, they are able to set up a regeneration programme which leads to the exact replacement of the missing structure, even as adults. As such, […]... Read more »

Eguchi, G., Eguchi, Y., Nakamura, K., Yadav, M., Millán, J., & Tsonis, P. (2011) Regenerative capacity in newts is not altered by repeated regeneration and ageing. Nature Communications, 384. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1389  

van Deursen, J. (2014) The role of senescent cells in ageing. Nature, 509(7501), 439-446. DOI: 10.1038/nature13193  

Sousa-Victor, P., Gutarra, S., García-Prat, L., Rodriguez-Ubreva, J., Ortet, L., Ruiz-Bonilla, V., Jardí, M., Ballestar, E., González, S., Serrano, A.... (2014) Geriatric muscle stem cells switch reversible quiescence into senescence. Nature, 506(7488), 316-321. DOI: 10.1038/nature13013  

Yun, M., Gates, P., & Brockes, J. (2013) Regulation of p53 is critical for vertebrate limb regeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(43), 17392-17397. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1310519110  

Muñoz-Espín D, Cañamero M, Maraver A, Gómez-López G, Contreras J, Murillo-Cuesta S, Rodríguez-Baeza A, Varela-Nieto I, Ruberte J, Collado M.... (2013) Programmed cell senescence during mammalian embryonic development. Cell, 155(5), 1104-1118. PMID: 24238962  

Storer, M., Mas, A., Robert-Moreno, A., Pecoraro, M., Ortells, M., Di Giacomo, V., Yosef, R., Pilpel, N., Krizhanovsky, V., Sharpe, J.... (2013) Senescence Is a Developmental Mechanism that Contributes to Embryonic Growth and Patterning. Cell, 155(5), 1119-1130. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.10.041  

Demaria, M., Ohtani, N., Youssef, S., Rodier, F., Toussaint, W., Mitchell, J., Laberge, R., Vijg, J., Van Steeg, H., Dollé, M.... (2014) An Essential Role for Senescent Cells in Optimal Wound Healing through Secretion of PDGF-AA. Developmental Cell, 31(6), 722-733. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.11.012  

  • June 27, 2015
  • 07:26 PM
  • 58 views

Brain scan can predict who responds best to certain treatment for OCD

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tens of millions of Americans — an estimated 1 to 2 percent of the population — will suffer at some point in their lifetimes from obsessive-compulsive disorder, a disorder characterized by recurrent, intrusive, and disturbing thoughts (obsessions), and/or stereotyped recurrent behaviors (compulsions). Left untreated, OCD can be profoundly distressing to the patient and can adversely affect their ability to succeed in school, hold a job or function in society.... Read more »

  • June 27, 2015
  • 02:17 PM
  • 71 views

Natural wilderness areas need buffer zones to protect from human development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite heavy development, the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature. But University of Georgia researchers say these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.... Read more »

Lauren K. Ward, & Gary T. Green. (2015) Wilderness Zoning: Applying an Adapted Biosphere Reserve Model to Wilderness Areas. Illuminare. info:/http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/illuminare/article/view/13341

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