Post List

  • September 19, 2016
  • 02:59 AM

Constipation in schizophrenia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Constipation and dyspepsia are disturbing gastrointestinal symptoms that are often ignored in research on physical comorbidities of schizophrenia."Go on."The prevalence of constipation was 31.3%, and of dyspepsia 23.6%."So said the findings reported by Tomi Virtanen and colleagues [1] who assessed "dyspepsia and constipation in a sample of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum psychoses." Alongside the general practitioner assessment of such functional bowel complaints, researchers also ........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2016
  • 03:59 PM

How to Detect Circular Virus Genomes from Metagenomes

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

When analyzing virus metagenomic data, we often find it helpful to identify...... Read more »

Minot, S., Sinha, R., Chen, J., Li, H., Keilbaugh, S., Wu, G., Lewis, J., & Bushman, F. (2011) The human gut virome: Inter-individual variation and dynamic response to diet. Genome Research, 21(10), 1616-1625. DOI: 10.1101/gr.122705.111  

Manrique, P., Bolduc, B., Walk, S., van der Oost, J., de Vos, W., & Young, M. (2016) Healthy human gut phageome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(37), 10400-10405. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601060113  

  • September 18, 2016
  • 03:01 PM

The new findings heart repair research

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists trying to find ways to regenerate a damaged heart have shed more light on the molecular mechanisms that could one day make this a reality. Whilst other organs such as the liver can regenerate, the heart muscle has very little ability to do so after suffering damage, such as a heart attack.
In the womb the body is able to produce heart muscle cells but soon after birth it effectively stops producing them.... Read more »

  • September 18, 2016
  • 07:03 AM

5 Things We Learned This Week | Open-Access Science | Week 37, 2016

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

New theories in ocean circulation and acidification, shorter sea ice season in polar bear habitats, and new tools to track bird migrations and hair protein analysis in forensic IDs. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Stern, H., & Laidre, K. (2016) Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat. The Cryosphere, 10(5), 2027-2041. DOI: 10.5194/tc-10-2027-2016  

Shamoun-Baranes, J., Farnsworth, A., Aelterman, B., Alves, J., Azijn, K., Bernstein, G., Branco, S., Desmet, P., Dokter, A., Horton, K.... (2016) Innovative Visualizations Shed Light on Avian Nocturnal Migration. PLOS ONE, 11(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160106  

Parker, G., Leppert, T., Anex, D., Hilmer, J., Matsunami, N., Baird, L., Stevens, J., Parsawar, K., Durbin-Johnson, B., Rocke, D.... (2016) Demonstration of Protein-Based Human Identification Using the Hair Shaft Proteome. PLOS ONE, 11(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160653  

  • September 17, 2016
  • 01:50 PM

Largest-ever study reveals environmental impact of genetically modified crops

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

According to new research, widespread adoption of genetically modified crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant. This is the largest study of genetically modified crops and pesticide use to date. The team of economists studied annual data from more than 5,000 soybean and 5,000 maize farmers in the U.S. from 1998 to 2011, far exceeding previous studies that have been limited to one or two years of data.

... Read more »

  • September 17, 2016
  • 08:27 AM

Comorbidities surrounding paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS / ME)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This large nationwide registry linkage study confirms that the clinical picture in CFS/ME [chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis] is complex."That sentence, taken from the paper by Inger Bakken and colleagues [1] (open-access available here), is perhaps the under-statement of the year as authors sought to "describe comorbidities diagnosed in primary care in children diagnosed with CFS/ME in specialist health care" and "describe the timing of the diagnoses from prim........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 09:45 PM

Contiguity Effective for Deductive Inference

by Joshua Fisher in Text Savvy

Even if the benefits of retrieval practice were limited to improvements in recall (as prior research has demonstrated), such improvements do not stand in the way of improvements to higher-order reasoning, such as inference-making. (And shaping the path for students, such as improving informational contiguity can have a positive effect too.)... Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 03:57 PM

The blur doesn't cut it: AI can identify people in blurred images

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A trio of researchers has found off-the-shelf AI software can be used to identify people in blurred or pixilated images. The researchers have uploaded a paper describing the experiments they carried out with AI software identification of people or other items in blurred out images, what they found and reveal just how accurate they found it could be.

... Read more »

Richard McPherson, Reza Shokri, & Vitaly Shmatikov. (2016) Defeating Image Obfuscation with Deep Learning. arXiv. arXiv: 1609.00408v2

  • September 16, 2016
  • 10:16 AM

The Brain in Super Agers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My Twitter post on a recently published study of brain structure in a group of high performing older adults received quite a bit of attention (see below).Felicia Sun and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School selected an interesting research design.A group of elderly subjects between the ages of 60 and 80 years were identified as showing "superaging". This was defined as scoring like young adults on two neuropsychological tests: The Long Delay Free Recall measure........ Read more »

Sun FW, Stepanovic MR, Andreano J, Barrett LF, Touroutoglou A, & Dickerson BC. (2016) Youthful Brains in Older Adults: Preserved Neuroanatomy in the Default Mode and Salience Networks Contributes to Youthful Memory in Superaging. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(37), 9659-9668. PMID: 27629716  

  • September 16, 2016
  • 07:00 AM

Friday Fellow: Samambaiaçu

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s more than time to bring a fern as a Friday Fellow, and I decided to start with one of my favorites, the Neotropical tree fern Dicksonia sellowiana, known in Brazil as Samambaiaçu or Xaxim. The samambaiaçu … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 16, 2016
  • 05:01 AM

Air travel and diving possibly increase risk of pneumothorax in BHD patients

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome is caused by germline mutations in the FLCN gene and characterized by skin fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) and renal cancer. Because sudden changes in air pressure can increase the chances of developing a collapsed lung, a concern many BHD patients have is whether it is safe to air travel and scuba dive, or whether this increases the chances of a pneumothorax. In a new study, Johannesma et al. (2016) evaluate the incidence ........ Read more »

Johannesma, P., van de Beek, I., van der Wel, J., Paul, M., Houweling, A., Jonker, M., van Waesberghe, J., Reinhard, R., Starink, T., van Moorselaar, R.... (2016) Risk of spontaneous pneumothorax due to air travel and diving in patients with Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome. SpringerPlus, 5(1). DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-3009-4  

  • September 16, 2016
  • 04:24 AM

Anxiety disorders and mortality risk: implications for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Anxiety disorders significantly increased mortality risk. Comorbidity of anxiety disorders and depression played an important part in the increased mortality."So said the findings reported by Sandra Meier and colleagues [1] looking to assess any relationship between the presence of an anxiety disorder and mortality risk. Based on data from one of those oh-so-useful Scandinavian population registries (Denmark this time), researchers reported that: "The risk of death by natural and unnatural........ Read more »

Meier SM, Mattheisen M, Mors O, Mortensen PB, Laursen TM, & Penninx BW. (2016) Increased mortality among people with anxiety disorders: total population study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27388572  

  • September 15, 2016
  • 05:15 PM

Badass bacteria are thriving in your washing machine

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll You probably have heard of bacteria (and archaeans) that live in extreme environments on Earth, such as hot springs or lakes with high salinity, where most lifeforms would die horribly in a few seconds. We usually … Continue reading →... Read more »

Savage, A., Hills, J., Driscoll, K., Fergus, D., Grunden, A., & Dunn, R. (2016) Microbial diversity of extreme habitats in human homes. PeerJ. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2376  

  • September 15, 2016
  • 02:22 PM

MRI scanner sees emotions flickering across an idle mind

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As you relax and let your mind drift aimlessly, you might remember a pleasant vacation, an angry confrontation in traffic or maybe the loss of a loved one. And now a team of researchers say they can see those various emotional states flickering across the human brain.

... Read more »

  • September 15, 2016
  • 09:10 AM

Paralympic athletes and the rise of the cyborgs

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Para and super? The Olympics are over. They’ve brought us some good stories, some nice records, and (self-citation alert!) a humble blog post about the ethics of doping. But the Paralympics, their less mediatized cousin, are in full swing. Paralympians from all over the world gather to wow us with their athletic prowess in the Paralympic […]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2016
  • 04:41 AM

How to Hold Scientific Journals Accountable?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Writing in PLoS Biology, neurobiologist Thomas C. Südhof discusses Truth in Science Publishing: A Personal Perspective. Südhof is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford. A veteran scientist, he's been publishing since 1982.

So what's the state of science publishing as Südhof sees it?

He first notes that "scientists, public servants, and patient advocates alike increasingly question the validity of published scientific results, endangering the publi... Read more »

  • September 15, 2016
  • 04:25 AM

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-predominant fatty acid supplements and the treatment of depression

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Further RCTs [randomised-controlled trials] should be conducted on study populations with diagnosed or clinically significant depression of adequate duration using EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid] -predominant omega-3 HUFA [highly unsaturated fatty acids] formulations."So went the conclusions of the review article published by Brian Hallahan and colleagues [1] who searched the peer-reviewed science literature for clinical trials "evaluating efficacy of omega-3 high........ Read more »

Hallahan B, Ryan T, Hibbeln JR, Murray IT, Glynn S, Ramsden CE, SanGiovanni JP, & Davis JM. (2016) Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 27103682  

  • September 14, 2016
  • 11:24 PM

Language and migration

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Humans are a migratory species. Although in modern society the dominant imagery we have created about ourselves is that it...... Read more »

Piller, I. (2016) Language and migration. Language and migration, 1-20. info:/

  • September 14, 2016
  • 08:00 PM

ZIKV: antivirals and the cell cycle, TBK-1 relocalisation and immune signalling

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Zika Virus (ZIKV) is an emerging flavivirus that was first isolated in 1947 from a sentinel monkey in Uganda as part of study that aimed to identify novel pathogens and despite sporadic local outbreaks in countries such as Gabon, Nigeria, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia followed by the first major outbreak in Yap/Federal States of Micronesia 2007 only caused mild disease in humans with up to 80% of asymptomatic cases. Here the repurposing of drugs for treating Zika as well as the effect of re........ Read more »

Bonaldo MC, Ribeiro IP, Lima NS, Dos Santos AA, Menezes LS, da Cruz SO, de Mello IS, Furtado ND, de Moura EE, Damasceno L.... (2016) Isolation of Infective Zika Virus from Urine and Saliva of Patients in Brazil. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 10(6). PMID: 27341420  

Campos Rde M, Cirne-Santos C, Meira GL, Santos LL, de Meneses MD, Friedrich J, Jansen S, Ribeiro MS, da Cruz IC, Schmidt-Chanasit J.... (2016) Prolonged detection of Zika virus RNA in urine samples during the ongoing Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, 69-70. PMID: 26921737  

Chatel-Chaix L, Cortese M, Romero-Brey I, Bender S, Neufeldt CJ, Fischl W, Scaturro P, Schieber N, Schwab Y, Fischer B.... (2016) Dengue Virus Perturbs Mitochondrial Morphodynamics to Dampen Innate Immune Responses. Cell host , 20(3), 342-56. PMID: 27545046  

Costa F, Sarno M, Khouri R, de Paula Freitas B, Siqueira I, Ribeiro GS, Ribeiro HC, Campos GS, Alcântara LC, Reis MG.... (2016) Emergence of Congenital Zika Syndrome: Viewpoint From the Front Lines. Annals of internal medicine, 164(10), 689-91. PMID: 26914810  

Cugola FR, Fernandes IR, Russo FB, Freitas BC, Dias JL, Guimarães KP, Benazzato C, Almeida N, Pignatari GC, Romero S.... (2016) The Brazilian Zika virus strain causes birth defects in experimental models. Nature, 534(7606), 267-71. PMID: 27279226  

DICK GW. (1952) Zika virus. II. Pathogenicity and physical properties. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 46(5), 521-34. PMID: 12995441  

DICK GW, KITCHEN SF, & HADDOW AJ. (1952) Zika virus. I. Isolations and serological specificity. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 46(5), 509-20. PMID: 12995440  

Garcez PP, Loiola EC, Madeiro da Costa R, Higa LM, Trindade P, Delvecchio R, Nascimento JM, Brindeiro R, Tanuri A, & Rehen SK. (2016) Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids. Science (New York, N.Y.), 352(6287), 816-8. PMID: 27064148  

Jurado KA, Simoni MK, Tang Z, Uraki R, Hwang J, Householder S, Wu M, Lindenbach BD, Abrahams VM, Guller S.... (2016) Zika virus productively infects primary human placenta-specific macrophages. JCI insight, 1(13). PMID: 27595140  

Lazear HM, Govero J, Smith AM, Platt DJ, Fernandez E, Miner JJ, & Diamond MS. (2016) A Mouse Model of Zika Virus Pathogenesis. Cell host , 19(5), 720-30. PMID: 27066744  

Li H, Saucedo-Cuevas L, Regla-Nava JA, Chai G, Sheets N, Tang W, Terskikh AV, Shresta S, & Gleeson JG. (2016) Zika Virus Infects Neural Progenitors in the Adult Mouse Brain and Alters Proliferation. Cell stem cell. PMID: 27545505  

Miner JJ, Sene A, Richner JM, Smith AM, Santeford A, Ban N, Weger-Lucarelli J, Manzella F, Rückert C, Govero J.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection in Mice Causes Panuveitis with Shedding of Virus in Tears. Cell reports, 16(12), 3208-18. PMID: 27612415  

Nowakowski TJ, Pollen AA, Di Lullo E, Sandoval-Espinosa C, Bershteyn M, & Kriegstein AR. (2016) Expression Analysis Highlights AXL as a Candidate Zika Virus Entry Receptor in Neural Stem Cells. Cell stem cell, 18(5), 591-6. PMID: 27038591  

Oehler E, Watrin L, Larre P, Leparc-Goffart I, Lastere S, Valour F, Baudouin L, Mallet H, Musso D, & Ghawche F. (2014) Zika virus infection complicated by Guillain-Barre syndrome--case report, French Polynesia, December 2013. Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles , 19(9). PMID: 24626205  

Onorati M, Li Z, Liu F, Sousa AM, Nakagawa N, Li M, Dell'Anno MT, Gulden FO, Pochareddy S, Tebbenkamp AT.... (2016) Zika Virus Disrupts Phospho-TBK1 Localization and Mitosis in Human Neuroepithelial Stem Cells and Radial Glia. Cell reports, 16(10), 2576-92. PMID: 27568284  

Qian X, Nguyen HN, Song MM, Hadiono C, Ogden SC, Hammack C, Yao B, Hamersky GR, Jacob F, Zhong C.... (2016) Brain-Region-Specific Organoids Using Mini-bioreactors for Modeling ZIKV Exposure. Cell, 165(5), 1238-54. PMID: 27118425  

Ribeiro LS, Marques RE, Jesus AM, Almeida RP, & Teixeira MM. (2016) Zika crisis in Brazil: challenges in research and development. Current opinion in virology, 76-81. PMID: 27179929  

Tang H, Hammack C, Ogden SC, Wen Z, Qian X, Li Y, Yao B, Shin J, Zhang F, Lee EM.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Progenitors and Attenuates Their Growth. Cell stem cell, 18(5), 587-90. PMID: 26952870  

Weaver SC, Costa F, Garcia-Blanco MA, Ko AI, Ribeiro GS, Saade G, Shi PY, & Vasilakis N. (2016) Zika virus: History, emergence, biology, and prospects for control. Antiviral research, 69-80. PMID: 26996139  

Zhang F, Hammack C, Ogden SC, Cheng Y, Lee EM, Wen Z, Qian X, Nguyen HN, Li Y, Yao B.... (2016) Molecular signatures associated with ZIKV exposure in human cortical neural progenitors. Nucleic acids research. PMID: 27580721  

Zhu Y, Zhao L, Liu L, Gao P, Tian W, Wang X, Jin H, Xu H, & Chen Q. (2010) Beclin 1 cleavage by caspase-3 inactivates autophagy and promotes apoptosis. Protein , 1(5), 468-77. PMID: 21203962  

Chattopadhyay S, Marques JT, Yamashita M, Peters KL, Smith K, Desai A, Williams BR, & Sen GC. (2010) Viral apoptosis is induced by IRF-3-mediated activation of Bax. The EMBO journal, 29(10), 1762-73. PMID: 20360684  

Richter B, Sliter DA, Herhaus L, Stolz A, Wang C, Beli P, Zaffagnini G, Wild P, Martens S, Wagner SA.... (2016) Phosphorylation of OPTN by TBK1 enhances its binding to Ub chains and promotes selective autophagy of damaged mitochondria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(15), 4039-44. PMID: 27035970  

  • September 14, 2016
  • 03:48 PM

Food waste could store solar and wind energy, or there's the obvious...

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Saving up excess solar and wind energy for times when the sun is down or the air is still requires a storage device. Batteries get the most attention as a promising solution although pumped hydroelectric storage is currently used most often. Now researchers are advancing another potential approach using sugar alcohols—an abundant waste product of the food industry—mixed with carbon nanotubes.

... Read more »

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