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  • July 8, 2013
  • 01:05 PM

Genetics of Gambling Addiction in Men and Women

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

A variety of influences appear to influence the risk of the development of a gambling addiction.  There is a growing body of literature related to the brain science behind the variation of risk to engage in gambling behavior.In the next few posts, I will summarize some of the recent brain imaging research related to gambling behavior.  As a preview to these posts, I would like to review a study of the role of genetic factors in gambling behavior.A relatively recent twin study of disord........ Read more »

Slutske WS, Zhu G, Meier MH, & Martin NG. (2010) Genetic and environmental influences on disordered gambling in men and women. Archives of general psychiatry, 67(6), 624-30. PMID: 20530012  

  • June 28, 2013
  • 12:24 PM

Gamification of in silico open synthetic biology: a game-changer.

by Eugenio Maria Battaglia in

Fancy doing some Synthetic Biology but you don’t have access to a lab or expensive equipments?
Don’t worry.... Read more »

Gerd H. G. Moe-Behrens, Rene Davis, & Karmella A. Haynes. (2013) Preparing synthetic biology for the world. Frontiers in MICROBIOTECHNOLOGY, ECOTOXICOLOGY AND BIOREMEDIATION. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00005  

  • June 13, 2013
  • 05:31 PM

Halogenated Graphene Catalyst May Replace Platinum in Fuel Cells

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A group of scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea, has developed a new metal-free fuel cell catalyst using edge-halogenated graphene nanoscale platelets. As a replacement for the expensive platinum-based catalysts this graphene application opens a way to affordable fuel cells.... Read more »

  • June 4, 2013
  • 12:01 PM

Melatonin for Insomnia: Research Summary

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular Model of MelatoninInsomnia is a common problem in the general population and is linked to greater health care utilization and increased mortality risk.Primary sleep disorder including primary insomnia are conditions that are not explained by a medical, substance use or mental disorder.  Treatment options for primary sleep disorders include psychological interventions and medications.  Melatonin is a commonly used drug that is available over the counter in the United States.Th........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2013
  • 12:30 PM

Serotonin 2 Receptor May Be A Key Cocaine Addiction Target

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

3-Dimensional Model of Cocaine MoleculeCocaine dependence remains a significant public health problem in the U.S. and throughout the world.  Relapse rates in cocaine dependence are high despite aggressive psychological interventions.  No evidence-based pharmacological treatments are currently available as adjunctive measures in cocaine dependence.However, drug development in the treatment of cocaine dependence is an active area of research.  Although cocaine and other stimulants a........ Read more »

  • May 3, 2013
  • 04:40 PM

Why blogging science is rewarding!

by Ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

... Read more »

  • April 30, 2013
  • 12:31 PM

Treatment Advances in Parkinson's Disease: Part I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

3D Molecular Model of L-DopaDrug treatment of Parkinson's disease is a complex clinical problem.  This complexity relates to several factors including incomplete response, multiple symptom domains and adverse effects of commonly used drugs.David Pedrosa and Lars Timmerman from the Department of Neurology at University Hospital Cologne in Germany have recently published an excellent review of Parkinson's disease management.The review is packed with comprehensive tables with specific drug inf........ Read more »

Pedrosa, D., & Timmermann, . (2013) Review: management of Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 321. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S32302  

  • April 20, 2013
  • 04:17 AM

Probabilities reveal shape of climate change

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

David Stainforth from the London School of Economics and his colleagues have developed a new way to analyse weather data and understand which aspects of climate have changed most on a local level, showing European trends with less than a 2% chance of happening at random.... Read more »

Chapman, S., Stainforth, D., & Watkins, N. (2013) On estimating local long-term climate trends. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 371(1991), 20120287-20120287. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2012.0287  

  • April 6, 2013
  • 04:16 PM

Induced Hibernation in Rat: an interview with Matteo Cerri

by Eugenio Maria Battaglia in

The possibility of inducing a suspended animation state similar to natural torpor would be greatly beneficial in medical science, since it would avoid the adverse consequence of the powerful autonomic activation evoked by external cooling. Previous attempts to systemically inhibit metabolism were successful in mice, but practically ineffective in nonhibernators. Here we show that the selective pharmacological inhibition of key neurons in the central pathways for thermoregulatory cold defense is ........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2013
  • 09:43 PM

Beyond the Pdf 2 - a disruptive conference

by Eugenio Maria Battaglia in Science to Grok

Scholarly communication across all disciplines is changing profoundly under the influence of new technologies. New models, tools and standards are being developed that aim to enhance, enable or entirely replace formerly ingrained forms of scholarly communication, including publications, courses, conferences and policy. The Beyond the PDF conference brings together scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers and research funders in a lively forum, not just to broaden awareness of current efforts........ Read more »

Priem, J., & Hemminger, B. (2012) Decoupling the scholarly journal. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00019  

Nature Methods. (2013) Beyond the PDF. Nature Methods, 10(2), 91-91. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2363  

  • February 6, 2013
  • 12:49 PM

Interferon-induced Depression: Genetics

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Photo of a pair of green wing tealInterferon remains a key first line treatment for treatment of hepatitis C.  However, interferon has significant neuropsychiatric effects including risk for depression and even suicide in rare individuals.Some individuals with hepatitis C are unable to complete a course of interferon because of induced depression.  This makes understanding this phenomenon important to develop prevention and treatment strategies.Understanding how interferon induces depr........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2013
  • 06:29 PM

Fam38A: another piece of the cancer puzzle

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

A team of researchers in the UK have discovered how the absence of a single gene makes it easier for …Continue reading »... Read more »

  • January 1, 2013
  • 06:28 AM

What’s wrong with citation analysis?

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

What’s wrong with citation analysis? Other than your papers not being cited enough, what’s wrong with measuring scientific influence based on citation count? Citation analysis-based decisions concerning grants, promotions, etc. have become popular because, among other things, they’re considered “unbiased.” After all, such analysis gives numbers even non-professionals can understand, helping them make the best [...]

... Read more »

MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (1996) Problems of citation analysis. Scientometrics, 36(3), 435-444. DOI: 10.1007/BF02129604  

MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2010) Problems of citation analysis: A study of uncited and seldom-cited influences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21228  

Priem, J., Taraborelli, D., Groth, P., & Neylon, C. (2010) altmetrics: a manifesto. info:/

  • October 1, 2012
  • 12:42 PM

The Genetics of Smoking Cessation

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular Model of NicotineResearch studies support a significant genetic contribution to alcohol, drug and nicotine dependence.  There may be some genetic factors that contribute to a general substance dependence vulnerability.  Additionally, some genetic factors may increase risk to specific substances of abuse.A recent review of studies of European descent subjects found a link between cigarette consumption level (number of cigarettes smoked per day) and a region on chromosome 15. &........ Read more »

Chen LS, Baker TB, Piper ME, Breslau N, Cannon DS, Doheny KF, Gogarten SM, Johnson EO, Saccone NL, Wang JC.... (2012) Interplay of genetic risk factors (CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4) and cessation treatments in smoking cessation success. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(7), 735-42. PMID: 22648373  

  • September 22, 2012
  • 12:02 PM

OMG! An Open Molecule Generator!

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

Earlier this week an important cheminformatics paper appeared in the Journal of Cheminformatics. It is about the Open Molecule Generator (see below for the paper). This was one important piece of functionality still missing from Open Source cheminformatics. This works uses the Chemistry Development Kit, and was written by Julio Peironcely.

The Analytical Biosciences' group of Prof. Hankemeier (and many others, including also Theo Reijmers) and funded by the Netherlands Metab........ Read more »

Julio E Peironcely, Miguel Rojas-Chertó, Davide Fichera, Theo Reijmers, Leon Coulier, Jean-Loup Faulon, & Thomas Hankemeier. (2012) OMG: open molecule generator. Journal of Cheminformatics, 21. DOI: 10.1186/1758-2946-4-21  

  • September 10, 2012
  • 07:40 PM

The Genetic Fatality of What You Are

by hatewasabi in Into Oblivion

On how genetics gets into politics and social science... Read more »

James H. Fowlera, Jaime E. Settle, and Nicholas A. Christakis. (2010) Correlated genotypes in friendship networks. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011687108  

Chen H, Pine DS, Ernst M, Gorodetsky E, Kasen S, Gordon K, Goldman D, & Cohen P. (2012) The MAOA gene predicts happiness in women. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology . PMID: 22885141  

Montag C, Kirsch P, Sauer C, Markett S, & Reuter M. (2012) The Role of the CHRNA4 Gene in Internet Addiction: A Case-control Study. Journal of addiction medicine, 6(3), 191-5. PMID: 22722381  

Williams NM, Zaharieva I, Martin A, Langley K, Mantripragada K, Fossdal R, Stefansson H, Stefansson K, Magnusson P, Gudmundsson OO.... (2010) Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a genome-wide analysis. Lancet, 376(9750), 1401-8. PMID: 20888040  

  • September 6, 2012
  • 12:42 PM

Cannabis Use and Risk of Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There are few prospective studies examining the use of cannabis and risk of later depression and other mental disorders.   I have previously reviewed two studies that examined the association of cannabis use and later psychosis.  One study found increased rates of psychosis in cannabis user with a family history of psychosis.  A second study found later psychosis risk elevated with use of cannabis beginning in childhood or adolescence.There is now an additional study examinin........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2012
  • 01:51 PM

Cannabis Dependence Risk Factors: Neuroticism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Cannabis appears to have a lower risk of dependence in users than other drugs such as heroin, cocaine or nicotine.  Despite this lower risk, some cannabis users do go on to develop typical substance dependence signs and symptoms like daily high-dose use and impairment in social and occupational function.Genetic factors appear to influence risk for a variety types of drug dependence.  I will review some of the genetic studies of cannabis dependence in a future post.  A recent study........ Read more »

  • July 18, 2012
  • 11:11 AM

Drug Combo Qsymia Approved for Obesity

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the combination drug Qsymia for the treatment of obesity.  Qsymia contains the drugs phentermine and topiramate and comes in two dose combinations phentermine 7.5 mg/topiramate 46 mg and a double-strength combination of phentermine 15.0mg/topiramate 92 mg.I have previously reviewed a 56 week clinical trial of this drug combination.  This study found an average weight loss of 17.8 pounds for the lower dose combination and an avera........ Read more »

  • July 12, 2012
  • 12:38 PM

Depression and Brain White Matter Hyperintensities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI) provides a powerful tool for studying brain structure.  One specific clinical and research advance in MRI has been the recognition and understanding of what has been named white matter hyperintensities (WMHI).  These types of age-related brain changes were less well identified by earlier computerized tomography brain imaging techniques.I have previously posted a study that examined the clinical significance of brain WMHI.  This research meta-........ Read more »

Bohlega S, Al Shubili A, Edris A, Alreshaid A, Alkhairallah T, AlSous MW, Farah S, & Abu-Amero KK. (2007) CADASIL in Arabs: clinical and genetic findings. BMC medical genetics, 67. PMID: 17996090  

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