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  • August 23, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 77 views

You heard me right... autism prevalence and meat consumption

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence". The paper by Wojciech & Ewa Pisula [1] (open-access) does indeed suggest that there may "a correlation between increasing meat consumption and autism prevalence"."Goonies never say die!"Readers are invited to draw their own conclusions on such a correlation. Personally, I'm not yet convinced that meat consumption is the primary driving force behind the increase in cases of autism being diagnosed worldwide outside of any mention of the word 'correlation'.I am however open to further study on aspects of food or food production potentially being linked to autism in some roundabout way as per areas talking about dioxin exposure through food consumption (see here) or even animal antibiotic use being linked into changing gut microbiota [2] (open-access) (see here too) bearing in mind my not over-selling the whole gut bacteria bit (see here).I might also draw your attention to some "fundamental limitations" that the authors include about their hypothesis:"1. None of the authors is an epidemiologist. Our experience is in different fields, namely comparative psychology (first author) and clinical child psychology (second author).2. The data presented here do not cover sufficient ground to facilitate the proposal of a precise hypotheses.3. We did not have enough data to run confirmatory analyses, therefore we have limited ourselves to purely correlational statistics, while providing raw numbers retrieved from the cited sources.4. It is very likely that the real variable that may definitively explain the observed correlations remains invisible, and what we see is just a surface aspect of the phenomenon."'Nuff said.And speaking of meat, I'll also draw your attention to the recent BBC Horizon programme looking at meat and health by Dr Michael Mosley (see here). Although not the best of Dr Mosley's TV efforts (particularly the 'making sense of the statistics' section and the N=1 experiment) the message seems to be that meat - real meat not the processed stuff - in moderation is probably not going to be particularly harmful to health for those that choose an omnivorous diet. Oh, and fat isn't necessarily the bad guy but those trillions of beasties which inhabit our gut might need some further inspection [3]. If however you want an alternative form of animal protein which has a more environmentally friendly footprint, how about mussels a few times a week?Some music then and having finally taken the plunge into the wonder that is Spotify, I discovered a bit of a blast from the past: A.M. 180 from Grandaddy. Be prepared for more nuggets in future posts...----------[1] Pisula W. & Pisula E. Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Medical Hypotheses. 2014. August 14.[2] Forslund K. et al. Country-specific antibiotic use practices impact the human gut resistome. Genome Res. 2013. 23: 1163-1169[3] Koeth RA. et al. Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis. Nature Medicine. 2013; 19: 576–585.----------Wojciech Pisula, & Ewa Pisula (2014). Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested Medical Hypotheses : 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.007... Read more »

Wojciech Pisula, & Ewa Pisula. (2014) Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Medical Hypotheses. info:/10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.007

  • August 23, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 69 views

An end to Finger Pricking for Diabetics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

About 10% of the US is diabetic, that doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize how many people there are in the US (roughly 311 million and counting). Think about it like this, every 7 seconds (roughly) a child is born. With that statistic every minute and 10 seconds leads to another person with diabetes. By the time you finish reading this, about two people in the US will be diagnosed with diabetes.[…]... Read more »

Liakat S, Bors KA, Xu L, Woods CM, Doyle J, & Gmachl CF. (2014) Noninvasive in vivo glucose sensing on human subjects using mid-infrared light. Biomedical optics express, 5(7), 2397-404. PMID: 25071973  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 81 views

Global Warming Denial: Common Arguments and Misconceptions

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

An informal collection of common arguments and misconceptions by global warming denialists, as well as my rebuttals. Uses relevant data from IPCC, NOAA, NASA and peer-reviewed literature. Its purpose serves to inform the general public about these false claims so that we can escape this bout with pseudoscience a bit faster.... Read more »

Mann, M., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R., Hughes, M., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., & Ni, F. (2009) Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science, 326(5957), 1256-1260. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177303  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 23 views

Precision of Cell Division (Talmudic Question #112.2)

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Conrad Woldringh | In Talmudic Question #112, the question was asked: "Many, perhaps most bacteria, divide into daughter cells of almost precisely the same size. Why is that?" An answer may be found when measuring the precision of cell division as a function of cell shape. The precision of cell division is given…... Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 75 views

The Friday Five for 8/22/2014

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Top ‪science‬ news stories for this week include the cat genome, a real-life "Tremors" worm, a scientist ingesting tapeworms on purpose, and more!
... Read more »

Tamazian, G., Simonov, S., Dobrynin, P., Makunin, A., Logachev, A., Komissarov, A., Shevchenko, A., Brukhin, V., Cherkasov, N., Svitin, A.... (2014) Annotated features of domestic cat – Felis catus genome. GigaScience, 3(1), 13. DOI: 10.1186/2047-217X-3-13  

Russell, S., Gold, M., Reynolds, L., Willing, B., Dimitriu, P., Thorson, L., Redpath, S., Perona-Wright, G., Blanchet, M., Mohn, W.... (2014) Perinatal antibiotic-induced shifts in gut microbiota have differential effects on inflammatory lung diseases. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.06.027  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 09:42 AM
  • 78 views

These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, the saying goes, and stalagmites might grow high enough to reach it. But the simple mnemonic doesn’t come close to covering the variety of weird, rocky shapes growing all over a cave. There are even, it turns out, rocks made from bacteria. They’re not putting the “tight” in “stalactite” so […]The post These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Sallstedt, T., Ivarsson, M., Lundberg, J., Sjöberg, R., & Vidal Romaní, J. (2014) Speleothem and biofilm formation in a granite/dolerite cave, Northern Sweden. International Journal of Speleology, 43(3), 305-313. DOI: 10.5038/1827-806X.43.3.7  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 05:13 AM
  • 103 views

Is Intelligence Actually Beneficial To Survival?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Research shows that more intelligent animals might not always be best suited for survival. Some researchers speculate that intelligence may be a trade-off. Fast learning may correlate with other traits, such as being less aggressive, which could weaken chances for survival. Slower learning may indicate that other choices are being made, and this variety could prove advantageous later.... Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 03:47 AM
  • 94 views

Serum microRNA profiles and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I cannot pretend to be an expert on microRNA (miRNA). Indeed, it was only after reading the paper by Mahesh Mundalil Vasu and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about serum microRNA profiles in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that I started my learning journey about these small non-coding RNAs. So please, go easy with me on this one...Hamlet @ Wikipedia Quite a good [short] introduction to microRNAs can be found here. If you want something a little more comprehensive then I might direct you to the paper by Bartel which can be found here [2] (open-access). Basically, miRNAs are a type of post-transcriptional regulator. "Once made, miRNAs can suppress gene expression by inhibiting translation or promoting mRNA degradation". There you have some hints as to why miRNAs might be quite important; as Vasu and colleagues put it: "MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently emerged as prominent epigenetic regulators of a variety of cellular processes, including differentiation, apoptosis and metabolism".A few details from the Vasu paper might be useful, bearing in mind the paper is open-access and snippets of the findings were reported at IMFAR 2014:"Total RNA, including miRNA, was extracted from the serum samples of 55 individuals with ASD and 55 age- and sex-matched control subjects, and the mature miRNAs were selectively converted into cDNA". The average of participants in both groups was around 11 years old.Screening was undertaken looking at the expression and quantification of miRNAs to determine whether there were any differences between autism and control groups. Further analysis was completed "to predict the target genes and altered pathways of differentially expressed miRNAs".Results: "In the preliminary array screening, we observed an altered expression of 14 miRNAs in the ASD samples compared to those of controls". Some miRNAs were up-regulated; others down-regulated. Some 'fine-tuning' of this list of miRNAs differentially expressed in the autism group ended up with 13 miRNAs. Analysis of the genetic targets of these MiRNAs came up with several possible relations - "600 predicted genes and 18 neurological pathways" - but the top 10 neurological pathways covered "axon guidance, TGF-beta signaling, MAPK signaling, adherens junction, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, oxidative phosphorylation, hedgehog signaling, focal adhesion, mTOR signaling and Wnt signaling". Some of these processes have been talked about previously with autism in mind, for example, as per the article by Wang & Doering [3] on mTOR and autism (see also a previous post on this blog). mTOR is also enjoying some even more recent coverage too [4].Based on scores for the autism group derived from the ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised), researchers did not find any significant correlations between miRNA expressions and the core behavioural domains. The authors did [tentatively] suggest that: "Five miRNAs showed good predictive power for distinguishing individuals with ASD". We'll see how this pans out in future work...MicroRNAs have been talked about with autism in mind previously in the peer-reviewed literature. The paper by Vaishnavi and colleagues [5] (open-access) for example, talked about SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) "perturbing miRNA-mediated gene regulation [that] might lead to aberrant expression of autism-implicated genes". Indeed, they identified "9 MRE [miRNA recognition elements] -modulating SNPs and another 12 MRE-creating SNPs in the 3'UTR of autism-implicated genes". Certainly this work might put those 'common genetic variants' into something of a new light.Ziats & Rennert [6] in their discussions about "differentially expressed microRNAs across the developing human brain" talked about miRNAs potentially being linked to a variety of neurodevelopmental conditions. Schizophrenia and autism were the conditions talked about by Mellios & Sur [7], with the lion's share of work currently going to schizophrenia [8] over autism. That being said, I'd wager that there will be more to see from research looking at miRNAs and autism in the coming years especially when Vasu et al reported: "The differentially expressed miRNAs in this study... were previously reported to have altered expression in schizophrenia... supporting the contention that ASD and schizophrenia share common neurobiological features". Common ground indeed.I'm still getting my head around miRNAs and autism, and by no means should this entry be viewed as anything other than an amateur attempt to explain them and their potential importance to autism and various other conditions [9]. The Vasu results, whilst preliminary, offer a good roadmap to further investigation being undertaken bearing in mind the various other areas being examined beyond just traditional genomics and the very important focus on gene expression. Now, about miRNAs and comorbidity like ADHD [10]...Music then, and how about a spot of Johnny Cash and I Walk the Line.----------[1] Vasu MM. et al. Serum microRNA profiles in children with autism. Molecular Autism. 2014; 5: 40[2] Bartel DP. MicroRNAs: Genomics, Biogenesis, Mechanism, and Function. Cell. 2004; 116: 281-297.[3] Wang H. & Doering LC. Reversing autism by targeting downstream mTOR signaling. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Mar 26;7:28.[4] Tang G. et al. Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits. Neuron. 2014. August 21.[5] Vaishnavi V. et al. Mining the 3'UTR of autism-implicated genes for SNPs perturbing microRNA regulation. Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2014 Apr;12(2):92-104.[6] Ziats MN. & Rennert OM. Identification of differentially expressed microRNAs across the developing human brain. Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul;19(7):848-52.[7] Mellios N. & Sur M. The Emerging Role of microRNAs in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Front Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 25;3:39.[8] Sun E. & Shi Y. MicroRNAs: small molecules with big roles in neurodevelo... Read more »

Mundalil Vasu, M., Anitha, A., Thanseem, I., Suzuki, K., Yamada, K., Takahashi, T., Wakuda, T., Iwata, K., Tsujii, M., Sugiyama, T.... (2014) Serum microRNA profiles in children with autism. Molecular Autism, 5(1), 40. DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-5-40  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 01:02 PM
  • 94 views

Jonas Salk and the Polio Comeback

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Jonas Salk, you should know this name, but chances are you don’t. He was the inventor of the polio vaccine, a disease that was feared more than the atomic bomb. Today we don’t think about it, no one “gets” polio anymore. Scientists get a bad rap today with the whole “autism-vaccine” BS. But they don’t know Salk, instead of making a small [see: huge] fortune from the drug, he refused to patent it and gave it to the people for essentially free. You think this story would have a happy ending, I mean we don’t have polio anymore… right? Well the devils in the details and it’s not good.[…]... Read more »

Drexler JF, Grard G, Lukashev AN, Kozlovskaya LI, Böttcher S, Uslu G, Reimerink J, Gmyl AP, Taty-Taty R, Lekana-Douki SE.... (2014) Robustness against serum neutralization of a poliovirus type 1 from a lethal epidemic of poliomyelitis in the Republic of Congo in 2010. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25136105  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 10:48 AM
  • 86 views

August 21, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

Microtubules are known for their fascinating dynamics, but some cellular processes require a more stable microtubule cytoskeleton. Thankfully, these stable, acetylated microtubules are just as photogenic as their non-modified microtubule pals. Today’s image is from a paper describing the role of the protein paxillin in microtubule acetylation. Crawling cells require coordination of adhesive forces, cytoskeletal rearrangements, and cell polarization. Cell polarization helps to direct newly synthesized proteins to the leading edge of the crawling cell, relying on both a stable microtubule cytoskeleton and positioning of the Golgi apparatus in front of the nucleus. The stability of these long-lived microtubules is due to acetylation—a post-translational modification of α-tubulin. A recent study by Deakin and Turner uncovered a role for the focal adhesion scaffolding protein paxillin in regulating microtubule acetylation, which in turn regulates Golgi integrity and cell polarization. Paxillin modulates microtubule stability through its inhibition of HDAC6, an α-tubulin deacetylase, and does so in both normal and transformed cells. In the images above, depletion of paxillin (bottom) in malignant (left column) and normal (right column) cell types resulted in a drop of microtubule acetylation (yellow), compared to control cells (top). Deakin, N., & Turner, C. (2014). Paxillin inhibits HDAC6 to regulate microtubule acetylation, Golgi structure, and polarized migration originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology, 206 (3), 395-413 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201403039... Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 83 views

Autism, ADHD and allergy: Taiwan and big data (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had an increased risk of allergic comorbidities, and those with both ADHD and ASD had the highest"."You built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean"That was the conclusion arrived at in the paper by Ting-Yang Lin and colleagues [1]. For regular readers of this blog, this was yet another example of how Taiwan leads the way when it comes to the concept of 'big data' specifically employed with neurodevelopmental conditions in mind. That Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database is proving to be a very valuable resource indeed.A few details from the latest study:"5386 children aged less than 18 years with ADHD alone, 578 with ASD alone, 458 with ADHD + ASD, and 25,688 non-ADHD/ASD age- and sex-matched (1:4) controls were enrolled in our study". I don't think anyone can say that this was an underpowered study.The presence of various allergic diseases including asthma and atopic dermatitis were looked at among participant groups and compared.Results: Odds ratios (ORs) suggested that the autism, ADHD and combined autism + ADHD groups were all more likely to present with comorbid allergic conditions compared to asymptomatic controls. This, taking into account "age, sex, and level of urbanization". The combined group seemed to be a greater risk of allergic disease than the autism or ADHD alone groups (OR: 2.2 95% CI: 1.83–2.79)."ASD children with more allergic comorbidities were associated with a greater likelihood of ADHD". Quite a bit of this data taps into previous findings based on the examination of the Taiwanese insurance database insofar as the link between asthma (see here and see here) and neurodevelopmental diagnoses, so no real surprises there. The intriguing prospect that an increasing allergic burden in cases of autism seemed to elevate the risk of comorbid ADHD being present is the value-added part to the Lin study. What autism research is starting to understand is that comorbidity is quite a big issue (see here) and, outside of learning disability (see here) and epilepsy (see here), ADHD seems to figure quite prominently (see here). Bearing in mind that correlation is not the same as causation, I'd like to see quite a bit more investigation into that autism - allergy - ADHD relationship talked about by Lin et al. Genetics might be a good starting point as per the growing realisation about 'common ground' when it comes to various behaviourally-defined conditions (see here). The recent paper looking at the possible genetics of schizophrenia [2] linking into immune functions (see here) might set the tone for further inquiry in this area. Given the growing body of research looking at immune function and autism (see here and see here for examples) one might see how allergic diseases may show more than a passing connection to at least some cases.I'd also be minded to suggest that environment might also be something to look at with this possible relationship in mind. Food is something of a potential common denominator when it comes to at least some autism and some ADHD (see here) so perhaps further investigation might be required there. The paper by de Theije and colleagues [3] talked quite a bit about food allergy and autism and ADHD for example. I don't know enough about how food might tie into something like asthma or atopic eczema as to present any knowledgeable information about links. I'd hazard a guess that looking at something like the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and things like the gut microbiota [4] might also be worthwhile.Music to close, and something uplifting from The Smiths...----------[1] Lin T-Y. et al. Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2014; 8: 1333-1338.[2] Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature. 2014; 511: 421-427.[3] de Theije CG. et al. Food allergy and food-based therapies in neurodevelopmental disorders. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2014 May;25(3):218-26.[4] Molloy J. et al. The potential link between gut microbiota and IgE-mediated food allergy in early life. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Dec 16;10(12):7235-56.----------Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M., & Bai, Y. (2014). Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8 (10), 1333-1338 DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.009... Read more »

Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M.... (2014) Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(10), 1333-1338. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.009  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 02:21 AM
  • 90 views

Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to access canine science studies and thoughtful commentary. We are pleased and proud of the space we have created and the community who enjoy it. We're as committed as ever to helping people access the canine science conversation, and moving forward, we've decided to open up DYBID as a space where other canine science practitioners can share their findings and thoughts.  What you can expect Guest contributors Following the format you've enjoyed in earlier guest posts (like Dog training: do you get the timing right?, Take a walk on the wild side: dingo science  and Black dog syndrome, a bad rap?) researchers and students of canine science are welcome to submit short posts to DYBID based on peer-reviewed research. We're hoping posts will focus on research either presented at academic conferences or published in scientific journals. If you have an idea for a post, check out the Contributors page for more details, and be in touch! Canine science highlights We'll continue our usual presence on Facebook and Twitter, and here on the DYBID blog we'll post fortnightly updates highlighting the canine science that we've been following in the previous two weeks (blog posts, scientific studies, websites, etc.). This slideshow is our first attempt at sharing Canine science highlights. We have used Storify so you can quickly flip through and click on anything you want more info about. [View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-15 August 2014] " on Storify]Where in the world are Mia and Julie?To simplify our Twitter presence:Mia will primarily manage the @DoUBelieveInDog feedJulie will continue being active on @DogSpies, as well as at her Scientific American Blog, Dog Spies, and her dog research group @Dog_CognitionYou can also stay in touch with Mia at @AnthroZooRG (her research group), @HumanAnimalSci (a podcast featuring the latest from Anthrozoology) and @WorkDogAlliance... Read more »

Fischhoff B., & Scheufele D. (2013) The science of science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14033-14039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • 89 views

The DNA Signature of Lupus

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My Uncle suffered from Lupus. The disease itself should have a more sinister sounding name, given the effect it has on the body. Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease which attacks the body and causes an incredible amount of pain. It’s not pretty and complications from the disease can make life even more unbearable for people. There is no cure and sadly there are few treatments outside of managing the pain and side effects of the disease. Thankfully medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. […]... Read more »

Julia I Ellyard, Rebekka Jerjen, Jaime L Martin, Adrian Lee, Matthew A Field, Simon H Jiang, Jean Cappello, Svenja K Naumann, T Daniel Andrews, Hamish S Scott.... (2014) Whole exome sequencing in early-onset cerebral SLE identifies a pathogenic variant in TREX1. Arthritis . info:/10.1002/art.38824

  • August 20, 2014
  • 10:07 AM
  • 93 views

How Humans Are Helping Ravens and Hurting Hawks

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You’ve already picked a side in the bird wars, whether or not you know it. As humans carve up formerly empty expanses of the western United States with our roads, electrical towers, and power lines, we’re inadvertently giving a boost to ravens. Meanwhile, the birds of prey that once ruled the land are being left […]The post How Humans Are Helping Ravens and Hurting Hawks appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 87 views

Video Tip of the Week: Immune Epitope DB (IEDB)

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s tip was inspired by the recent NHGRI workshop of the future directions for funding and resourcing of genomics-related projects. Titled “Future Opportunities for Genome Sequencing and Beyond: A Planning Workshop for the National Human Genome Research Institute” brought together a lot of influential folks on this topic, and had them noodle on the […]... Read more »

Vita R., J. A. Greenbaum, H. Emami, I. Hoof, N. Salimi, R. Damle, A. Sette, & B. Peters. (2010) The Immune Epitope Database 2.0. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(Database). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkp1004  

Kim Y., Z. Zhu, D. Tamang, P. Wang, J. Greenbaum, C. Lundegaard, A. Sette, O. Lund, P. E. Bourne, & M. Nielsen. (2012) Immune epitope database analysis resource. Nucleic Acids Research, 40(W1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gks438  

Bhattacharya Sanchita, Linda Gomes, Patrick Dunn, Henry Schaefer, Joan Pontius, Patty Berger, Vince Desborough, Tom Smith, John Campbell, & Elizabeth Thomson. (2014) ImmPort: disseminating data to the public for the future of immunology. Immunologic Research, 58(2-3), 234-239. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12026-014-8516-1  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:35 AM
  • 95 views

I hate you Charley, and the horse you rode in on

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

The Charley Horse - why do we get these leg cramps and how can we prevent them? And why are they called a Charley Horse?!... Read more »

Garrison SR, Allan GM, Sekhon RK, Musini VM, & Khan KM. (2012) Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. PMID: 22972143  

El-Tawil S, Al Musa T, Valli H, Lunn MP, El-Tawil T, & Weber M. (2010) Quinine for muscle cramps. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. PMID: 21154358  

Miller KC, Mack GW, Knight KL, Hopkins JT, Draper DO, Fields PJ, & Hunter I. (2010) Three percent hypohydration does not affect threshold frequency of electrically induced cramps. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 42(11), 2056-63. PMID: 20351595  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 102 views

State Fairs and Stiff Beers: Why We Can't Stop Drinking

by Aarti Chawla in The 'Scope

A look into why we drink and what alcohol does to the brain.... Read more »

Diamond I, & Messing RO. (1994) Neurologic effects of alcoholism. The Western journal of medicine, 161(3), 279-87. PMID: 7975567  

Paul CA, Au R, Fredman L, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, Decarli C, & Wolf PA. (2008) Association of alcohol consumption with brain volume in the Framingham study. Archives of neurology, 65(10), 1363-7. PMID: 18852353  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 87 views

Because He Is The One

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Swatting a fly is hard. They always seem to know you’re coming, and even if you do surprise them, they often avoid your assassination attempts. New research is showing how they do it. A 2014 paper indicates that animals with faster metabolic rates actually process information and react quicker than larger animals. This, along with recent data showing how flies can jump away from a visual stimulus before taking flight and how they can coordinate a 0.03 second banking turn with incoming visual information, makes me feel less inadequate when I can’t grab them with my chopsticks.... Read more »

Muijres FT, Elzinga MJ, Melis JM, & Dickinson MH. (2014) Flies evade looming targets by executing rapid visually directed banked turns. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6180), 172-7. PMID: 24723606  

Jumpertz R, Hanson RL, Sievers ML, Bennett PH, Nelson RG, & Krakoff J. (2011) Higher energy expenditure in humans predicts natural mortality. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 96(6). PMID: 21450984  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 04:35 AM
  • 98 views

ADHD in DSM-5: what did you think would happen?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest a 27% increase in the expected prevalence of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] among young adults, comparing DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria". So said the paper by Matte and colleagues [1] who as part of their study looked at "the prevalence of ADHD according to DSM-5 criteria".Europa @ Wikipedia The changes to the diagnosis of ADHD in DSM-5 can be seen here. The main difference between DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnosis seems to be a change in the maximum age of symptom onset; previously set at 7 years in DSM-IV, now 12 years in DSM-5. This change has been the topic of quite a bit of discussion [2].I'm going no further in this discussion aside from bringing to your attention an article by Dr Allen Frances who has been more than a little critical of the changes made to DSM in this latest version. To quote: "DSM 5 will likely trigger a fad of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder leading to widespread misuse of stimulant drugs for performance enhancement and recreation and contributing to the already large illegal secondary market in diverted prescription drugs". Accepting that any rise in the use of nootropics is beyond the scope of this post, the increase in expected prevalence reported by Matte and colleagues is not a million miles away from Dr Frances' 2012 prediction...Music then. Perfect Day by Lou Reed (the BBC version).----------[1] Matte B. et al. ADHD in DSM-5: a field trial in a large, representative sample of 18- to 19-year-old adults. Psychol Med. 2014 Jun 23:1-13.[2] Cortese S. Are concerns about DSM-5 ADHD criteria supported by empirical evidence? BMJ. 2013 Nov 27;347:f7072.----------Matte, B., Anselmi, L., Salum, G., Kieling, C., Gonçalves, H., Menezes, A., Grevet, E., & Rohde, L. (2014). ADHD in DSM-5: a field trial in a large, representative sample of 18- to 19-year-old adults Psychological Medicine, 1-13 DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001470... Read more »

Matte, B., Anselmi, L., Salum, G., Kieling, C., Gonçalves, H., Menezes, A., Grevet, E., & Rohde, L. (2014) ADHD in DSM-5: a field trial in a large, representative sample of 18- to 19-year-old adults. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001470  

  • August 19, 2014
  • 02:17 PM
  • 107 views

Hobby Lobby and the War on Race and Women

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a war going on and it's not on foreign soil. This war is the fight for the status quo, a war where you are only worth your skin color, a war where you are only worth as much as your gender. This war is all around us, we see it everyday, yet we let it quietly pass us by. We do this because, in all actuality, we are losing this war. I don't blame you if you don't believe me, you shouldn't.[…]... Read more »

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