Post List

  • January 25, 2017
  • 08:10 AM
  • 289 views

A poo transplant for [some] autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I've talked about 'fecal microbial transplants' a.k.a the poo(p) transplant before on this blog (see here). That previous entry was about the more typical (and potentially life-saving) use of a poo transplant - where stool from one person is extracted, 'repackaged' and transferred to another person - albeit with caveats in terms of possible long-term side-effects. Now it appears that poo transplants are being investigated with something rather more central to the typical cont........ Read more »

  • January 25, 2017
  • 08:00 AM
  • 223 views

Asthma & Histone Acetylation: an important epigenetic mechanism in allergic diseases

by Daniel Potaczek in EpiBeat

Epigenetic regulation is thought to be one of the most important mechanisms contributing to the development and clinical course of chronic immunological diseases like allergies and asthma. DNA methylation has been extensively studied in this context, which has not been a case of histone modifications such as histone acetylation or methylation.

Early epigenetic studies from our lab conducted in mouse models demonstrated a role for histone acetylation in mediating bacteria-induced protection ag........ Read more »

Harb H, Alashkar Alhamwe B, Garn H, Renz H, & Potaczek DP. (2016) Recent developments in epigenetics of pediatric asthma. Current opinion in pediatrics, 28(6), 754-763. PMID: 27662207  

Harb, H., Amarasekera, M., Ashley, S., Tulic, M., Pfefferle, P., Potaczek, D., Martino, D., Kesper, D., Prescott, S., & Renz, H. (2016) Epigenetic Regulation in Early Childhood: A Miniaturized and Validated Method to Assess Histone Acetylation. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 168(3), 173-181. DOI: 10.1159/000442158  

Harb, H., Raedler, D., Ballenberger, N., Böck, A., Kesper, D., Renz, H., & Schaub, B. (2015) Childhood allergic asthma is associated with increased IL-13 and FOXP3 histone acetylation. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 136(1), 200-202. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.01.027  

Stefanowicz, D., Lee, J., Lee, K., Shaheen, F., Koo, H., Booth, S., Knight, D., & Hackett, T. (2015) Elevated H3K18 acetylation in airway epithelial cells of asthmatic subjects. Respiratory Research, 16(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12931-015-0254-y  

Harb, H., & Renz, H. (2015) Update on epigenetics in allergic disease. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135(1), 15-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.11.009  

  • January 25, 2017
  • 07:02 AM
  • 251 views

Generational labels, researching emojis, and two persuasion  landmines

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We read so much for this blog (and just out of general curiosity) that we often find these small bits of information which don’t justify an entire blog post but that we want to share with you because they are just too good to ignore. Here’s another one of those combination posts that you simply […]... Read more »

  • January 25, 2017
  • 04:30 AM
  • 237 views

Degenerative Changes in the Knee Joint Are Present in Elite American Football Players

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

One in 4 American Football players at the NFL Combine with a history of knee surgery have knee osteoarthritis despite being only 20 to 26 years of age.... Read more »

  • January 25, 2017
  • 02:56 AM
  • 272 views

Autism and visual impairment reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Of the various autism science journals out there in peer-reviewed (La-La!) land, one journal in particular is really starting to grow on me: [The] Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.I like this journal because it is basically systematic review and meta-analysis heaven when it comes to the quite voluminous autism research literature and seems to publish some real gems (see here for example).Another paper from this journal caught my eye recently by Maggie Butchart and colleagues ........ Read more »

Butchart, M., Long, J., Brown, M., McMillan, A., Bain, J., & Karatzias, T. (2017) Autism and Visual Impairment: a Review of the Literature. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s40489-016-0101-1  

  • January 24, 2017
  • 11:52 AM
  • 295 views

Crowdfunding and Tribefunding in Science

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Competition for government research grants to fund scientific research remains fierce in the United States. The budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which constitute the major source of funding for US biological and medical research, has been increased only modestly during the past decade but it is not even keeping up with inflation. This problem is compounded by the fact that more scientists are applying for grants now than one or two decades ago, forcing the NIH to enforce strict........ Read more »

Vachelard J, Gambarra-Soares T, Augustini G, Riul P, & Maracaja-Coutinho V. (2016) A Guide to Scientific Crowdfunding. PLoS Biology, 14(2). PMID: 26886064  

  • January 24, 2017
  • 10:44 AM
  • 353 views

Whip Spiders Use Their Feet to Smell Their Way Home

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



After a late dinner, a jungle-dwelling whip spider can't rely on an Uber driver to get her home. She has to find the way herself, in the pitch-black, picking her way over thick undergrowth to reach the tree she lives on. It's a trick she can even manage when plucked from her home tree and tossed into the forest at random, up to 10 meters away. Now scientists think whip spiders don't use her eyes for this homing feat—they use their feet.

Whip spiders hunt by night and hunker down at dawn ........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2017
  • 06:42 AM
  • 239 views

Study assesses financing sources of open-access article processing charge

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Is there a correlation between article processing charge (APC) and the journals' Impact Factor? What are the funding sources for payment and how do they influence the choice of journals for publication? These and other questions were investigated by authors from Nanjing University, China and the results explain the peculiarity of open access in different countries. … Read More →... Read more »

MADHAN, M., KIMIDI, S. S., GUNASEKARAN S., & ARUNACHALAM S. (2016) Should Indian researchers pay to get their work published?. ePrints@IISc. info:/

WANG, L. L., LIU, X. Z., & FANG, H. (2015) Investigation of the degree to which papers supported by research grants are published in open access health and life sciences journals. Scientometrics, 104(2), 511-528. info:/10.1007/s11192-015-1624-4

  • January 24, 2017
  • 04:49 AM
  • 264 views

Fatty acids 'for autism'? Meta-analysis says probably not but...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Because of the limited number of included studies and small sample sizes, no firm conclusions can be drawn. However, the limited data currently available suggest that ω-3 FA [fatty acid] supplementation does not enhance the performance of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."Those were the conclusions reached in the systematic review and meta-analysis paper published by Andrea Horvath and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on the topic up t........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2017
  • 12:09 PM
  • 240 views

Forensic Science Testimony: What most  influences jurors? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We all want our expert witnesses to be influential with jurors. But when you have an expert testifying about forensic science (like fingerprint or DNA identification) what part of the testimony is going to influence jurors the most? Will it be the science? The technology used by the witness to interpret and understand the data? […]... Read more »

  • January 23, 2017
  • 10:59 AM
  • 269 views

Processing Speed Cognition in Elderly: Clinical Trial

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Processing speed declines significantly with age and contributes to impairment and disability in old age.There is little known about whether age-related processing speed decline can be slowed with interventionA recent clinical trial by a Japanese group targeted processing speed training in a group of 72 elderly.This study found significant effects for a daily 15 minute processing speed training game over 4 weeks.In contrast to a control group, the intervention group found specific improvement in........ Read more »

  • January 23, 2017
  • 02:45 AM
  • 289 views

Autism diagnoses (and diagnostic stability) in Germany

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"From 2006 to 2012, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in 0- to 24-year-olds increased from 0.22% to 0.38%."That was one of the details included in the rather interesting paper by Christian Bachmann and colleagues [1] who provided some introductory information on the the trends in autism diagnoses in Germany. I say 'introductory information' because it appears that autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has not exactly received the research attention in Germany that it p........ Read more »

Christian J Bachmann, Bettina Gerste, & Falk Hoffmann. (2016) Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders in Germany: Time trends in administrative prevalence and diagnostic stability. Autism: International Journal of Research . info:/10.1177/1362361316673977

  • January 23, 2017
  • 02:26 AM
  • 263 views

Why Do Political Figures Lie So Blatantly?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Are They Pathological Liars? Narcissists? Psychopaths? “Masterful Manipulators”? 





Trump Spokesman’s Lecture on Media Accuracy Is Peppered With Lies


Nearly all American politicians lie, but few as blatantly as those affiliated with the present administration. How do they do it? Are they lacking a conscience? Do they believe their own lies? Do they start with small falsehoods, stretch the

... Read more »

Garrett, N., Lazzaro, S., Ariely, D., & Sharot, T. (2016) The brain adapts to dishonesty. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.4426  

  • January 22, 2017
  • 04:58 PM
  • 119 views

Nature Shapes Faithful and Unfaithful Brains

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Among monogamous animals, some individuals are more faithful than others. Could these differences in fidelity be, in part, because of differences in our brains? And if so, why does this diversity in brain and behavior exist?A snuggly prairie vole family. Photo from theNerdPatrol at Wikimedia Commons.Prairie voles are small North American rodents that form monogamous pair bonds, share parental duties, and defend their homes. Although prairie voles form monogamous pairs, that does not mean they ar........ Read more »

  • January 21, 2017
  • 09:54 PM
  • 292 views

Don’t let the web bugs bite

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If you think spiders are scary creatures, today you will learn that they are scared too. But what could scary a spider? Well, a web bug! We usually think of spider webs as an astonishing evolutionary … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 21, 2017
  • 04:40 PM
  • 240 views

Publication Rate of Conference Abstracts

by Craig Payne in Its a Foot Captain, But Not as You Know It

Publication Rate of Conference Abstracts... Read more »

  • January 21, 2017
  • 03:25 AM
  • 313 views

"no evidence that the probiotic formulation is effective in treating low mood"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm a great believer in balance when it comes to this blog and its content. As enthusiastic as I might be about a particular topic or topics, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that peer-reviewed science is a messy business and often filled with contrary findings.With 'contrary' in mind, I want to talk today about a paper by Amy Romijn and colleagues [1] detailing the results of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of a probiotic mix which contained "freeze-dried L. helv........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2017
  • 05:19 AM
  • 254 views

RCC: Updates on Guidelines for Adjuvant Therapy and new drug combination

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

The European Association of Urology (EAU) Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) guidelines panel has recently updated its recommendation on adjuvant therapy with sunitinib in non-metastatic RCC after surgical tumour removal (Bex et al., 2016). These clinical guidelines provide urologists with evidence-based information and recommendations for the management of RCC and the panel includes urological surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and patient advocates. Based on the conflicting results of t........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2017
  • 05:00 AM
  • 272 views

Friday Fellow: Giant Kelp

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll This week we’ll stay in the sea and meet on of the most impressive algae, the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. It is called giant for a good reason, since it can grow up to 50 m in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 20, 2017
  • 03:10 AM
  • 276 views

Diagnosing ME/CFS the machine learning way?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In today's post I want to draw your attention to the findings reported by Diana Ohanian and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) talking about "the use of machine learning to further explore the unique nature"of various conditions/labels including those typically headed under the label of chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).Including one 'Jason LA' on the authorship list, researchers set about looking at "what key symptoms differentiate Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ........ Read more »

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