To mark 10 years of Nature Reviews Neuroscience this month the journal has produced a kind of retrospective of the most highly cited reviews from each year. I got around to reading the 2002 “winner” from Maurizio Corbetta and Gordon Shulman which focused on attention networks in the brain, and a quality read it is. [...]... Read more »
Corbetta, M., & Shulman, G. (2002) CONTROL OF GOAL-DIRECTED AND STIMULUS-DRIVEN ATTENTION IN THE BRAIN. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3(3), 215-229. DOI: 10.1038/nrn755
Legrain V, Damme SV, Eccleston C, Davis KD, Seminowicz DA, & Crombez G. (2009) A neurocognitive model of attention to pain: behavioral and neuroimaging evidence. Pain, 144(3), 230-2. PMID: 19376654
The job of the human immune system is to destroy pathogens. Using a combination of quick, immediate responses (the innate immune system) and long-term memory (the adaptive immune system) in humans the cells of the immune system are perfectly primed to seek out any cells that are Other (i.e not Self) and kill them.Which leads to a slight problem, because rather a lot of the cells within your body are 'Other' cells, and their existence is vital to your health. Within your stomach, and your respira........ Read more »
Cerf-Bensussan N, & Gaboriau-Routhiau V. (2010) The immune system and the gut microbiota: friends or foes?. Nature reviews. Immunology, 10(10), 735-44. PMID: 20865020
There is considerable interest in methods to speed up the effects of treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Exposure and response prevention are key therapy interventions for OCD and these treatments have significant evidence-based support for effectiveness. A recent study examined whether the drug d-cycloserine can boost the effect of standard behavior therapy in OCD.D-cycloserine (DCS) is an antibiotic that appears to have cognitive effects that "facilitates fear extin........ Read more »
Chasson GS, Buhlmann U, Tolin DF, Rao SR, Reese HE, Rowley T, Welsh KS, & Wilhelm S. (2010) Need for speed: evaluating slopes of OCD recovery in behavior therapy enhanced with d-cycloserine. Behaviour research and therapy, 48(7), 675-9. PMID: 20362975
“Why aren’t you working harder? Don’t you know there are still people dying from cancer?!” That’s the thrust of a sanctimonious, self-righteous editorial by one Scott Kern. See below for other commentaries on it.
You know, even soldiers fighting actual wars where there is immediate and imminent danger to their comrades are given leave.
Kern has lost the plot; he’s forgotten that the main reason we want to cure cancer is so that people can lead fulfilling liv........ Read more »
Kern, SE. (2010) Where’s the passion?. Cancer Biology , 10(7), 655-657. info:/10.4161/cbt.10.7.12994
Sci get an email from one of her lovely readers recently about an article that appeared in Scientific American. I usually have a lot of respect for Scientific American, but I have to say I feel they really dropped the ball on this one. So today, I present to you: what Sci Am said, the [...]... Read more »
Pletzer, B., Kronbichler, M., Aichhorn, M., Bergmann, J., Ladurner, G., & Kerschbaum, H. (2010) Menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use modulate human brain structure. Brain Research, 55-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.06.019
Do certain strains make you more forgetful?
Cannabis snobs have been known to argue endlessly about the quality of the highs produced by their favorite varietals: Northern Lights, Hawaiian Haze, White Widow, etc. Among dedicated potheads, debates about the effects of specific cannabis strains are often overheated, and, ultimately, kind of boring. It's a bit like listening to a discussion of whether the wine in question evinces a woody aftertaste or is, instead, redolent of elderberries. For mos........ Read more »
Morgan, C., Schafer, G., Freeman, T., & Curran, H. (2010) Impact of cannabidiol on the acute memory and psychotomimetic effects of smoked cannabis: naturalistic study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 197(4), 285-290. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077503
In my education, I remember learning a unique property of viruses: once a virus infects a cell, no others will attempt to do so. Don't take this the wrong way. Multiple viruses can infect a cell, but not of the same strain. As an analogy consider paintball: once you successfully shoot your opponent, your team loses the necessity to shoot that person. This may be a stretch, but if you played with multiple teams, and each team had to take out a person, then this individual ........ Read more »
Rémy Froissart, Claus O. Wilke, Rebecca Montville, Susanna K. Remold, Lin Chao, & Paul E. Turner. (2004) Co-infection Weakens Selection Against Epistatic Mutations in RNA Viruses. Genetics, 168(1), 9-19. info:/
Anindita Das, Rakesh Kukreja (Virginia Commonwealth University, United States) and coworkers have shown that Viagra enhances the efficacy of doxorubicin against prostate cancer, minimizes the damage done to healthy cells, and reduces the heart damage caused by doxorubicin, findings very likely to find their way into real-world clinical settings in the short-term. This news feature was written on October 1, 2010.... Read more »
Das, A., Durrant, D., Mitchell, C., Mayton, E., Hoke, N. N., Salloum, F. N., Park, M. A., Qureshi, I., Lee, R., Dent, P.... (2010) Sildenafil increases chemotherapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin in prostate cancer and ameliorates cardiac dysfunction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006965107
Every year, the crew behind the Annals of Improbable Research honor research that "first makes people laugh, then makes them think." These awards, known as the Ig Nobels, honor some of the most entertaining research published in the past year. The competition is fierce, and the prizes highly coveted. But without further ado! This year, the winners are... Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Rocha-Gosselin, A., & Gendron, D. (2010) A novel non-invasive tool for disease surveillance of free-ranging whales and its relevance to conservation programs. Animal Conservation, 13(2), 217-225. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00326.x
RIETVELD, S., & VANBEEST, I. (2007) Rollercoaster asthma: When positive emotional stress interferes with dyspnea perception☆. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(5), 977-987. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2006.07.009
Tero, A., Takagi, S., Saigusa, T., Ito, K., Bebber, D., Fricker, M., Yumiki, K., Kobayashi, R., & Nakagaki, T. (2010) Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science, 327(5964), 439-442. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177894
Lianne Parkin, Sheila M Williams, Patricia Priest. (2009) Preventing winter falls: a randomised controlled trial of a novel intervention . Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 122(1298). info:/
Pluchino, A., Rapisarda, A., & Garofalo, C. (2010) The Peter principle revisited: A computational study. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 389(3), 467-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2009.09.045
I had another post lined up for this week, but I saw this abstract over at NCBI ROFL…and was lost. I had to blog it. It is GOLD. (Blogging GOLD, I say) So ladies. Your bra. Does it make you feel…inhibited? Do you feel it constipates your breast freedom, so to speak? Lee, Kikufuji, Tokura. [...]... Read more »
Lee, Y., Kikufuji, N., & Tokura, H. (2000) Field Studies on Inhibitory Influence of Skin Pressure Exerted by a Body Compensatory Brassiere on the Amount of Feces. Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY and Applied Human Science, 19(4), 191-194. DOI: 10.2114/jpa.19.191
Diabetes mellitus for years has been linked with cardiovascular disease such as heart failure and coronary heart disease (blocked arteries in the heart, and the leading cause of death in the Western world). How scared should diabetics be? An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine gives us one answer. Researchers from the Netherlands and Harvard examined medical [...]... Read more »
Franco, O., Steyerberg, E., Hu, F., Mackenbach, J., & Nusselder, W. (2007) Associations of Diabetes Mellitus With Total Life Expectancy and Life Expectancy With and Without Cardiovascular Disease. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167(11), 1145-1151. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.167.11.1145
Following my live tweets from the AACR molecular diagnostics and cancer therapeutics meeting here in Denver this week, some interesting offline discussions continued. A big focus here was on biomarkers and systems biology. Several readers observed that oncology seems to...... Read more »
Vandenberghe, R., Van Laere, K., Ivanoiu, A., Salmon, E., Bastin, C., Triau, E., Hasselbalch, S., Law, I., Andersen, A., Korner, A.... (2010) 18F-flutemetamol amyloid imaging in Alzheimer disease and mild cognitive impairment: A phase 2 trial. Annals of Neurology, 68(3), 319-329. DOI: 10.1002/ana.22068
by Travis Saunders, MSc, CEP in Obesity Panacea
Image by Jeff Keen.
In the past few years several prominent researchers have argued for the adoption of taxes on junk food as a means of reducing their consumption. Often, as in a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, the argument is made that money collected through the tax could then be used to subsidize healthier foods. This is an idea that I’ve found very appealing – we make the bad foods more expensive, the good foods less expensive, and people will proba........ Read more »
Epstein, L., Dearing, K., Roba, L., & Finkelstein, E. (2010) The Influence of Taxes and Subsidies on Energy Purchased in an Experimental Purchasing Study. Psychological Science, 21(3), 406-414. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610361446
…er, maybe not that way OK?! Graded exposure in vivo (with response prevention) is a specific treatment for pain-related anxiety/fear and avoidance. More specifically, it’s for people who are avoiding activities that are not going to harm them, but may increase their pain. Their beliefs as to why they ‘shouldn’t do’ these activities or movements … Read more... Read more »
Dehghani, M., Sharpe, L., & Nicholas, M. (2010) Structural Evaluation of the Contemporary Psychological Models of Chronic Pain: Does Fear of Pain Work for All?. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 39(3), 214-224. DOI: 10.1080/16506070903390134
Dwayne Miller (University of Toronto, Canada) and coworkers have developed a picosecond infrared laser scalpel that reduces the scarring and adjacent tissue damage seen after conventional surgical incisions. This news feature was written on September 28, 2010.... Read more »
Amini-Nik, S., Kraemer, D., Cowan, M. L., Gunaratne, K., Nadesan, P., Alman, B. A., & Miller, R. J. D. (2010) Ultrafast Mid-IR Laser Scalpel: Protein Signals of the Fundamental Limits to Minimally Invasive Surgery. PLoS ONE, 5(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013053
Imagine you go for an MRI or an x ray and the radiologist spots something they didn’t anticipate on your scan – you would be worried, right? Well, maybe you don’t need to be. A study of more than 1,400 scan found that almost 40% showed at least one such “incidental finding” but only 2.5% [...]... Read more »
Orme, N., Fletcher, J., Siddiki, H., Harmsen, W., O'Byrne, M., Port, J., Tremaine, W., Pitot, H., McFarland, E., Robinson, M.... (2010) Incidental Findings in Imaging Research: Evaluating Incidence, Benefit, and Burden. Archives of Internal Medicine, 170(17), 1525-1532. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.317
Back in the 1990s, Cancer Research UK scientists played a fundamental role in the discovery of two major “cancer genes”, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inheriting a fault in one of these genes greatly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and they’re also linked to an increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer. Thankfully, inherited faults [...]... Read more »
Antoniou AC, Wang X, Fredericksen ZS, McGuffog L, Tarrell R, Sinilnikova OM, Healey S, Morrison J, Kartsonaki C, Lesnick T.... (2010) A locus on 19p13 modifies risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 mutation carriers and is associated with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer in the general population. Nature genetics. PMID: 20852631
Bolton KL, Tyrer J, Song H, Ramus SJ, Notaridou M, Jones C, Sher T, Gentry-Maharaj A, Wozniak E, Tsai YY.... (2010) Common variants at 19p13 are associated with susceptibility to ovarian cancer. Nature genetics. PMID: 20852633
Goode EL, Chenevix-Trench G, Song H, Ramus SJ, Notaridou M, Lawrenson K, Widschwendter M, Vierkant RA, Larson MC, Kjaer SK.... (2010) A genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for ovarian cancer at 2q31 and 8q24. Nature genetics. PMID: 20852632
Mirror neurons are famous. Some would argue that they are too famous for their own good, others would say that they are the biggest discovery since Dennis Lillee got caught with an aluminium cricket bat. Well now we are realising that they are not just about movement – here Shikta Dey talks about an interesting [...]... Read more »
 Moseley GL, Olthof N, Venema A, Don S, Wijers M, Gallace A, & Spence C. (2008) Psychologically induced cooling of a specific body part caused by the illusory ownership of an artificial counterpart. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(35), 13169-73. PMID: 18725630
For years, clinicians working in pain management have mixed together a rich assortment of strategies to help people function better. But to identify the ‘active ingredients’ of multidisciplinary pain management using a cognitive behavioural approach, it’s been important to tease each element apart. One size does not fit all – and just as a physician … Read more... Read more »
Bailey, K., Carleton, R., Vlaeyen, J., & Asmundson, G. (2010) Treatments Addressing Pain-Related Fear and Anxiety in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Preliminary Review. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 39(1), 46-63. DOI: 10.1080/16506070902980711
by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea
On a number of occasions Travis has pointed to the negative health effects of sedentary activity, such as sitting, for extended periods of time. That is, regardless of the amount of exercise you get, the more time you spend sitting (an inevitable consequence of office work for many of us) the higher your risk of disease. Thus, we should be trying our best to limit the amount of time we spend sitting.
Some people are proponents of things like the treadmill desk. Some prefer sitting on an exercise........ Read more »
Beers, E., Roemmich, J., Epstein, L., & Horvath, P. (2008) Increasing passive energy expenditure during clerical work. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 103(3), 353-360. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-008-0713-y
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