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  • March 7, 2012
  • 03:09 PM

Ketamine - Magic Antidepressant, or Expensive Illusion?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Not one but two new papers have appeared from the Carlos Zarate group at NIMH reporting that a single injection of the drug ketamine has rapid, powerful antidepressant effects.One placebo-controlled study found a benefit in depressed bipolar patients who were already on mood stabilizers. The other found benefits in treatment-resistant major depression, though ketamine wasn't compared to placebo that time. Here's the bipolar trial: There have now been several studies finding dramatic antidepressa........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2012
  • 12:16 PM

Accountability in Science Journalism: two recent examples of failures in the NYT and Forbes

by PalMD in denialism blog

Ed Yong demands higher accountability in science journalism and has made me think of how in the last two days I've run across two examples of shoddy reporting. These two articles I think encompass a large part of the problem, the first from the NYT, represents the common failure of science reporters to be critical of correlative results. While lacking egregious factual errors, in accepting the authors' conclusions without vetting the results of the actual paper, the journalist has created a mi........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2012
  • 09:32 AM

Video tip of the week: Highlights [heh] of the Cannabis browser

by Mary in OpenHelix

Yeah, I couldn't resist. Stop groaning--lighten up! Ok, really, I'll stop now. The Cannabis genome project is an interesting exploration of an important plant genome, with a bunch of new data, and you can examine all of it in their browser. They are using a custom version of the UCSC Genome Browser, which we know is a great way to visualize and query data that might be important to you. In this week's tip we'll see some of the data and how you can interact with it.... Read more »

van Bakel, H., Stout, J., Cote, A., Tallon, C., Sharpe, A., Hughes, T., & Page, J. (2011) The draft genome and transcriptome of Cannabis sativa. Genome Biology, 12(10). DOI: 10.1186/gb-2011-12-10-r102  

  • March 7, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Nontraumatic out-of-hospital hypotension predicts inhospital mortality

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

An interesting examination of something that we take for granted. Does any instance of hypotension increase the risk of death for patients with life-threatening or potentially life-threatening conditions? Hypotension is categorized as SBP (Systolic Blood Pressure) less than 100 mm Hg, rather than SBP less than 90.

They assessed patients with respiratory distress, syncope, chest pain, dizziness, altered mental status, anxiety, thirst, weakness, fatigue, or the sensation of impending doom.... Read more »

Jones, A., Stiell, I., Nesbitt, L., Spaite, D., Hasan, N., Watts, B., & Kline, J. (2004) Nontraumatic out-of-hospital hypotension predicts inhospital mortality☆. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 43(1), 106-113. DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2003.08.008  

  • March 7, 2012
  • 12:04 AM

When is a Doubled Semitendinosus Tendon Autograft after ACL Reconstruction "Normal"?

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical and histological properties of semitendinosus ACL autografts in a sheep model.... Read more »

  • March 6, 2012
  • 07:29 PM

Steel magnolias: using magnolol to combat arthritis

by aewills in A Bouquet From Mendel

The gorgeous display of magnolia flowers around campus has been capturing my attention over the last few weeks, but it turns out they’re just as noteworthy for their therapeutic potential as for their aesthetics. A new article in press for … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 6, 2012
  • 09:10 AM

The importance of metabolism in cancer research

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Cancer metabolism is fast becoming an area to watch out for in R&D.  Last month I tweeted that I was attending a one day meeting at NY Academy of Sciences on Cancer Metabolism with keynote speakers Drs Lou Cantley and … Continue reading →
... Read more »

Wise DR, DeBerardinis RJ, Mancuso A, Sayed N, Zhang XY, Pfeiffer HK, Nissim I, Daikhin E, Yudkoff M, McMahon SB.... (2008) Myc regulates a transcriptional program that stimulates mitochondrial glutaminolysis and leads to glutamine addiction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(48), 18782-7. PMID: 19033189  

Locasale JW, Grassian AR, Melman T, Lyssiotis CA, Mattaini KR, Bass AJ, Heffron G, Metallo CM, Muranen T, Sharfi H.... (2011) Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase diverts glycolytic flux and contributes to oncogenesis. Nature genetics, 43(9), 869-74. PMID: 21804546  

Dang L, White DW, Gross S, Bennett BD, Bittinger MA, Driggers EM, Fantin VR, Jang HG, Jin S, Keenan MC.... (2009) Cancer-associated IDH1 mutations produce 2-hydroxyglutarate. Nature, 462(7274), 739-44. PMID: 19935646  

  • March 6, 2012
  • 09:10 AM

The statistical fallacy that trips up everyone from journalists to gynecologists

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

How most gynecologists that were given a simple stats problem relating to their work gave the wrong answer, why the problem appears in even the most respectable of publications and how the same fallacy led to 13,000 unnecessary abortions.... Read more »

Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L., & Woloshin, S. (2007) Helping Doctors and Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8(2), 53-96. DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6053.2008.00033.x  

  • March 6, 2012
  • 12:07 AM

Variability in Leg Muscle Power and Hop Performance After ACL Reconstruction

by Kathleen White in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Different levels of limb symmetry (70-90%) have been reported in the literature as acceptable minimal values. The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate hop performance as well as leg muscle power up to 2 years after ACLR and determine an acceptable cut-off value for normal limb symmetry.... Read more »

Thomeé R, Neeter C, Gustavsson A, Thomeé P, Augustsson J, Eriksson B, & Karlsson J. (2012) Variability in leg muscle power and hop performance after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. PMID: 22314862  

  • March 5, 2012
  • 02:08 PM

To Sleep, Perchance to Synthesize Proteins

by Karen Kreeger in Penn Medicine News Blog

Sleep keeps neuroscientist Marcos Frank awake, studying the importance of slumber during early life. Building on his research showing that the brain during sleep is fundamentally different from the brain during wakefulness, Frank an associate professor of Neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that cellular changes in the sleeping brain may promote the formation of memories. In the newest study from the lab, published in the March 1 issue of C........ Read more »

Seibt, J., Dumoulin, M., Aton, S., Coleman, T., Watson, A., Naidoo, N., & Frank, M. (2012) Protein Synthesis during Sleep Consolidates Cortical Plasticity In Vivo. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.016  

  • March 5, 2012
  • 12:00 PM

Whacking the Hedgehogs in Basal Cell Carcinoma with Vismodegib

by Ajay Malik in Mission Tumor

If the year 2011 was the year for the 5% of skin cancers, this is the year for the 95% majority. Last year saw approvals of two new melanoma cancer drugs, vemurafenib and ipilimumab. But, this year may be dubbed as the year when the other skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma finally gets a new Erivedge loaded Webley.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the western world—40% of all cancers are skin cancers with 80% of skin cancers being nonmelanoma, and primarily basal........ Read more »

Von Hoff, D., LoRusso, P., Rudin, C., Reddy, J., Yauch, R., Tibes, R., Weiss, G., Borad, M., Hann, C., Brahmer, J.... (2009) Inhibition of the Hedgehog Pathway in Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(12), 1164-1172. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0905360  

  • March 5, 2012
  • 10:55 AM

nab-Paclitaxel and its potential role in pancreatic cancer

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Back in 2009 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Molecular Targets meeting, a researcher (Anirban Maitra) from Boston had a most interesting poster about the use of nanotechnology to deliver nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) to pancreatic adenocarcinomas in a more … Continue reading →
... Read more »

  • March 5, 2012
  • 10:00 AM

Romance is not a romantic comedy: The importance of good exposure measurement

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

If you live in Kingston, you may have come across this headline: Kingston, ON is the most romantic city in Canada Wonderful you think – after all, Kingston does have that small city charm, with lots of historical buildings, quaint little cafes and restaurants as well as being right on the water. Lots of romantic [...]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2012
  • 06:05 AM

Why don't we have evidence based medicine for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy?

by Pieter Droppert in Biotech Strategy Blog

Modern surgery is the result of innovation in techniques, procedures and equipment. However, in the same way that drugs have to be shown to be effective e.g. allowing a cancer patient live longer, new surgical techniques need to demonstrate a clinical benefit over what they are replacing. ... Read more »

  • March 5, 2012
  • 05:45 AM

Why don’t we have evidence based medicine for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy?

by Pieter Droppert in Biotech Strategy Blog

That was the question that I asked Walter Artibani, Professor and Chair of Urology at the University of Verona during the recent European Association of Urology (EAU) annual Congress in Paris. Urologists have failed as scientists to generate evidence based medicine … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 5, 2012
  • 12:07 AM

Trying to Reduce Exercise-Induced Bonchoconstriction with Warm-Up Exercises

by Jeffrey B. Driban in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Following a warm-up that induces exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), a temporary airway narrowing associated with exercise, some individuals experience a 1 to 4 hour refractory period during which they have less severe or no EIB after additional vigorous exercise. Numerous warm-up programs have been suggested to induce a refractory period but it is unclear how effective they are. Therefore, Stickland et al conducted a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of different warm-up ........ Read more »

Stickland MK, Rowe BH, Spooner CH, Vandermeer B, & Dryden DM. (2012) Effect of warm-up exercise on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(3), 383-91. PMID: 21811185  

  • March 4, 2012
  • 08:44 PM

Night Owls Get a Coffee Break

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

“Morning people” have more caffeine-related sleep problems.

Let me start by saying that I love this caffeine study for personal reasons. As a lifelong night owl, I have been chastised by wife, family, and friends over the years for my regular habit of drinking coffee after 10 pm. (And falling easily asleep two or three hours later, if I choose to.) Other coffee drinkers have told me how rare and weird this is. If we have a cup, they tell me, or even an afternoon sip, we toss and turn all n........ Read more »

  • March 4, 2012
  • 04:14 PM

Can you have sex so mind-blowing you can't remember it?

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

(Yet another post prompted by a question on Quora that got me thinking about some fun ideas. As always, caveat lector: this is just some more "science jazz"... playing around with ideas to get me thinking about things I normally wouldn't think about from a neuroscientific context.)Okay, so there's a relatively more banal answer and then a much more fun answer.Let's start with the more fun.Totally Spitballing Fun AnswerMost people know about the studies in the 1........ Read more »

Cejas C, Cisneros LF, Lagos R, Zuk C, & Ameriso SF. (2010) Internal jugular vein valve incompetence is highly prevalent in transient global amnesia. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation, 41(1), 67-71. PMID: 19926838  

  • March 3, 2012
  • 07:41 AM

The World Mental Health Missionaries?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Is research on the global distribution of mental health problems a kind of modern-day missionary work?Maybe, says Australia's Dr Stephen Rosenman in a provocative paper: Cause for caution: culture,sensitivity and the World Mental Health Survey Initiative.The World Mental Health Survey (WMHS) is a huge World Health Organization project that aims to measure the rates of various psychiatric disorders in countries around the world. The WMHS has produced a great deal of data, but Rosenman points out ........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2012
  • 12:04 AM

PRP Preparations: Are you Getting What You Wanted?

by Jeffrey B. Driban in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

In October, SMR summarized a paper by Sundman et al that described how two commercial systems can generate platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparations that have very different cellular and growth factor concentrations and therefore may have different therapeutic effects.... Read more »

Mazzocca AD, McCarthy MB, Chowaniec DM, Cote MP, Romeo AA, Bradley JP, Arciero RA, & Beitzel K. (2012) Platelet-rich plasma differs according to preparation method and human variability. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American volume, 94(4), 308-16. PMID: 22336969  

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