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

Assemblages: 50 Years Later, We Know Nothing About Them

by Dr. Jekyll 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
  • 12:00 PM
  • 676 views

Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Something On Your Mind?

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

We can all get a little het-up about things, whether it’s something big like moving cities or something smaller like getting ready for a first date!But imagine how difficult life would be if we were to become excessively worried about even minor things?... Read more »

Katzman, M., & Tsirgielis, D. (2011) Treatment Approaches to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. International Journal of Clinical Reviews. DOI: 10.5275/ijcr.2011.08.09  

Gosselin P, & Laberge B. (2003) [Etiological factors of generalized anxiety disorder]. L'Encephale, 29(4 Pt 1), 351-61. PMID: 14615705  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 1,073 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
  • 03:32 AM
  • 800 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
  • 05:20 PM
  • 1,057 views

Heroin’s Anthrax Problem

by Rebecca Kreston in BODY HORRORS

Anthrax is a deadly disease with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Because it is, thankfully, also quite rare, it is relatively easy to track its whereabouts and going-ons when an outbreak occurs. Typically, outbreaks of anthrax have been traced to groups of people involved in high-risk activities involving grazing animals and their byproducts: anthrax favors shepherds, butchers, wool-sorters, leather workers, and even the odd drum-playing hippies. In 2009, however, an outbreak upended this........ Read more »

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

New Synthetic Amino Acid for a New Class of Drugs

by Dr. Jekyll 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
  • 514 views

Predictor of Sudden Death helps identify ICD candidates

by Dr. Jekyll 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
  • 01:45 PM
  • 363 views

Driven to Draw: Creativity erupts from brain insult

by Teodora Stoica in CuriousCortex

After eating one banana at 10’oclock precisely, she begins furiously drawing on the nearest blank sheet of paper. Her hand moves as if possessed, compulsively and rapidly sketching the same inane subjects from the day before. The irrepressible urge to create results in a complete neglect of her personal hygiene. Later, she gathers her pictures in a neat pile and binge eats an entire box of cookies. This isn’t a starving artist preparing for an opening show. This is Mrs. YCFZ, an 8........ Read more »

de Souza, L., Guimarães, H., Teixeira, A., Caramelli, P., Levy, R., Dubois, B., & Volle, E. (2014) Frontal lobe neurology and the creative mind. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00761  

de Souza Leonardo C., Antônio L. Teixeira, Paulo Caramelli, Richard Levy, Bruno Dubois, & Emmanuelle Volle. (2014) Frontal lobe neurology and the creative mind. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00761  

  • August 30, 2014
  • 03:34 AM
  • 455 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 30, 2014
  • 03:31 AM
  • 738 views

Neurobiological Basis of Music Therapy

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

The basic and one of oldest socio-cognitive domains of Human species is music. Listening to music regularly helps to keep the neurons and synapses more active. Depending on the way sound waves are heard or pronounced, they have an impact in the way neurological (brain and nerve) system work in the human body. Neurological studies have identified that music is a valuable tool for evaluating the brain system [1]. Its observed that while listening to music, different parts of the brain are involved........ Read more »

Peretz, I., & Zatorre, R. (2005) Brain Organization for Music Processing. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 89-114. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070225  

Patton, J., Routh, D., & Stinard, T. (2013) Where do children study? Behavioral observations. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 24(6), 439-440. DOI: 10.3758/BF03330575  

Chan AS, Ho YC, & Cheung MC. (1998) Music training improves verbal memory. Nature, 396(6707), 128. PMID: 9823892  

TSANG, C., TRAINOR, L., SANTESSO, D., TASKER, S., & SCHMIDT, L. (2006) Frontal EEG Responses as a Function of Affective Musical Features. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 930(1), 439-442. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb05764.x  

Luu P, Tucker DM, & Makeig S. (2004) Frontal midline theta and the error-related negativity: neurophysiological mechanisms of action regulation. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology, 115(8), 1821-35. PMID: 15261861  

Koelsch S. (2010) Towards a neural basis of music-evoked emotions. Trends in cognitive sciences, 14(3), 131-7. PMID: 20153242  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 08:36 PM
  • 805 views

Foot Orthotics and Patellofemoral Pain

by Craig Payne in Running Research Junkie

Foot Orthotics and Patellofemoral Pain... Read more »

  • August 29, 2014
  • 03:10 PM
  • 630 views

The Ever Mutating Ebola Virus

by Dr. Jekyll 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
  • 12:00 PM
  • 664 views

Replication and reputation: Whose career matters?

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

This post is a commentary on a piece by Matthew Lieberman in Edge, in which he expresses concerns about the way in which researchers are undertaking replication studies. He argues that some people are making careers out of trying to disprove others, and in so doing are damaging science.
I argue that we need to develop a more mature understanding that the move towards more replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward, improve o........ Read more »

  • August 29, 2014
  • 09:25 AM
  • 962 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
  • 03:52 AM
  • 430 views

Oxytocin and autism: the hype?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Consider some excerpts from two recent papers looking at oxytocin (OXT) - the "love hormone"(!) - and the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)...“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage”"These findings indicate that dysregulated OXT biology is not uniquely associated with ASD social phenotypes as widely theorized, but instead variation in OXT biology contributes to important individual differences in human social functioning, including the severe social impairments which characterize ASD........ Read more »

Parker, K., Garner, J., Libove, R., Hyde, S., Hornbeak, K., Carson, D., Liao, C., Phillips, J., Hallmayer, J., & Hardan, A. (2014) Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402236111  

Guastella AJ, Gray KM, Rinehart NJ, Alvares GA, Tonge BJ, Hickie IB, Keating CM, Cacciotti-Saija C, & Einfeld SL. (2014) The effects of a course of intranasal oxytocin on social behaviors in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 25087908  

  • August 28, 2014
  • 04:53 PM
  • 987 views

This is your Brain. This is your Brain on Drugs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Drugs are bad for the brain. That is (excuse the horrible pun) a no-brainer, but while scientists have seen the after effect drugs have on the brain, we have never seen how they affect the blood flow to the brain. That is of course, until now. A new method for measuring and imaging how quickly blood flows in the brain could help doctors and researchers better understand how drug abuse affects the brain and they are currently testing this new method as we speak.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 697 views

The Things Living on your Toothbrush…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Did you remember to brush? I hope you did, but you may be throwing away your toothbrush soon. Get ready for your daily amount of gross, because have I got a scientific discovery that will make you rethink your dental hygiene. Researchers have found that “solid-head” power toothbrushes have up to 3,000 times less bacteria when compared to “hollow-head” toothbrushes.[…]... Read more »

Morris DW, Goldschmidt M, Keene H, & Cron SG. (2014) Microbial contamination of power toothbrushes: a comparison of solid-head versus hollow-head designs. Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association, 88(4), 237-42. PMID: 25134956  

  • August 28, 2014
  • 11:40 AM
  • 829 views

Gambler Sub-types: Three Distinct Profiles

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

One method to advance understanding of a disorder is to use statistical modeling for sub-type or class analysis.Lia Nower and colleagues recently published the results of such an analysis from the large general population data-set known as the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).In this sample, 851 adults 18 years and older were identified with disordered gambling.This group then underwent a type of latent class statistical analysis known as the Pathways........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 751 views

Minocycline for schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Minocycline may improve the psychopathology of schizophrenia, especially the negative symptoms, and seems to be well tolerated".A Bachelors Drawer (apparently) @ Wikipedia That was the finding from the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Oya and colleagues [1] looking at the collected literature on the use of "minocycline augmentation therapy in patients with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotic agents". Augmentation therapy by the way, refers to the addition of minocycline ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 07:35 PM
  • 629 views

(False?) Positive Psychology Meets Genomics

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Academic bunfight ahoy! A new paper from Nick Brown – famed debunker of the “Positivity Ratio” – and his colleagues, takes aim at another piece of research on feel-good emotions. The target is a 2013 paper published in PNAS from positive psychology leader Barbara Fredrickson and colleagues: A functional genomic perspective on human well-being. The […]The post (False?) Positive Psychology Meets Genomics appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Brown, N., MacDonald, D., Samanta, M., Friedman, H., & Coyne, J. (2014) A critical reanalysis of the relationship between genomics and well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1407057111  

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