'Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today' went the press release attached to the findings reported by Kristen Lyall and colleagues  (open-access).Observing that "higher levels of some organochlorine compounds during pregnancy are associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ID [intellectual disability]" the Lyall results once again push environmental factors back into the research spotlight. Indeed, environmental factors that were bann........ Read more »
Lyall K, Croen LA, Sjödin A, Yoshida CK, Zerbo O, Kharrazi M, & Windham GC. (2016) Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Samples: Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Environmental health perspectives. PMID: 27548254
Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Chinese scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat by introducing a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.
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Yang, P., Liu, K., Chen, Q., Mo, X., Zhou, Y., Li, S., Feng, G., & Zhou, J. (2016) Wearable Thermocells Based on Gel Electrolytes for the Utilization of Body Heat. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201606314
The solar corona is a well known site for particle acceleration – examples range from spectacular large flares to the hard-to-observe nanoflares that are now a leading candidate for coronal heating.... Read more »
Prasad Subramanian and Claude Mercier. (2016) High resolution observations of radio noise storms in the solar corona . Astronomy . info:/
Weight loss and maintenance of weight loss is difficult if not nearly impossible for most people.A registry of individuals who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained their weight loss over a year exists in the U.S. This research effort is known as the National Weight Control Registry. It currently has over 10,000.I was looking at some of the published research results from this study. A paper published in 2012 used cluster analysis to identify sub-types of individuals with successful long-te........ Read more »
Ogden, L., Stroebele, N., Wyatt, H., Catenacci, V., Peters, J., Stuht, J., Wing, R., & Hill, J. (2012) Cluster Analysis of the National Weight Control Registry to Identify Distinct Subgroups Maintaining Successful Weight Loss. Obesity, 20(10), 2039-2047. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2012.79
Free beer, made right inside your stomach! This rare condition converts your gut into a brewery, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
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Cordell, B., & McCarthy, J. (2013) A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 04(07), 309-312. DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.47054
Logan BK, & Jones AW. (2000) Endogenous ethanol 'auto-brewery syndrome' as a drunk-driving defence challenge. Medicine, science, and the law, 40(3), 206-15. PMID: 10976182
Electrocardiographic screening is more accurate than patient history or physical examination to screen for potentially fatal cardiac abnormalities among collegiate athletes. ... Read more »
Drezner, J., Owens, D., Prutkin, J., Salerno, J., Harmon, K., Prosise, S., Clark, A., & Asif, I. (2016) Electrocardiographic Screening in National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletes. The American Journal of Cardiology, 118(5), 754-759. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.06.004
Thanks to Jade Philips (see her on fieldwork below) and Åsmund Asdal, two of the authors, for contributing this post on their recent paper on the conservation of crop wild relatives in Norway. Norway may be an unlikely spot in which to look for agrobiodiversity, but seek and ye shall find. A recent paper discusses […]... Read more »
Phillips, J., Asdal, A., Magos Brehm, J., Rasmussen, M., & Maxted, N. (2016) In situ and ex situ diversity analysis of priority crop wild relatives in Norway. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12470
Although I'm not really one for deep philosophical discussions or anything related (unless linked to a specific galaxy far, far away...), I was recently interested to read the paper by Martine Lappé  talking about how "complex narratives of autism’s causes and social anxieties surrounding child development have helped situate autism risk in women’s bodies before and during pregnancy."I'm as guilty as anyone for discussing the pretty constant stream of peer-reviewed research evidence........ Read more »
Lappe, M. (2016) The maternal body as environment in autism science. Social Studies of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0306312716659372
Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2016 annual conference of the British Association of Applied...... Read more »
With nearly sixty percent of American adults now taking prescription medications--from antidepressants to cholesterol treatments--there is growing concern about how many drugs are flowing through wastewater treatment facilities and into rivers and lakes. Research confirms that pharmaceutical pollution can cause damage to fish and other ecological problems--and may pose risks to human health too.
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Vatovec, C., Phillips, P., Van Wagoner, E., Scott, T., & Furlong, E. (2016) Investigating dynamic sources of pharmaceuticals: Demographic and seasonal use are more important than down-the-drain disposal in wastewater effluent in a University City setting. Science of The Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.199
I'm a fan of scientific replication on this blog. Y'know, when one group comes out with some new marvellous research findings and another [independent] group says 'yep, we found that too'.It is with that sentiment in mind that I'm talking about the results published by Mats Johnson and colleagues  who suggested that "3 months of Omega 3/6 treatment improved reading ability" following a "3-month parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial" with schoolchildren aged 9-10 years o........ Read more »
Johnson M, Fransson G, Östlund S, Areskoug B, & Gillberg C. (2016) Omega 3/6 fatty acids for reading in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 9-year-old mainstream schoolchildren in Sweden. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27545509
Parents who excel at math produce children who excel at math. This is according to a recently released study, which shows a distinct transfer of math skills from parent to child. The study specifically explored intergenerational transmission--the concept of parental influence on an offspring's behavior or psychology--in mathematical capabilities.
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Braham, E., & Libertus, M. (2016) Intergenerational associations in numerical approximation and mathematical abilities. Developmental Science. DOI: 10.1111/desc.12436
Can life be brought to celestial bodies outside our solar system, which are not permanently inhabitable? A new essay that has been published is trying to deal with this question. Over the last several years, the search for exoplanets has shown that very different types exist leading to new questions and a variety of possible answers.
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Claudius Gros. (2016) Developing Ecospheres on Transiently Habitable Planets: The Genesis Project. Astrophysics and Space Science. arXiv: 1608.06087v2
"Our results support a significantly higher prevalence rate of BD [bipolar disorder] in IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] patients than in controls."So said the results of the meta-analysis and systematic review published by Ping-Tao Tseng and colleagues  (open-access available here) based on the suggestion that "both IBS and BD may, at least partially, share a similar mechanism of pathophysiology" specifically with immune function in mind.Building on previous research sugges........ Read more »
Tseng PT, Zeng BS, Chen YW, Wu MK, Wu CK, & Lin PY. (2016) A meta-analysis and systematic review of the comorbidity between irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. Medicine, 95(33). PMID: 27537599
At the dinner table, babies do a lot more than play with their sippy cups, new research suggests. Babies pay close attention to what food is being eaten around them - and especially who is eating it. The study adds evidence to a growing body of research suggesting even very young children think in sophisticated ways about subtle social cues.
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Liberman, Z., Woodward, A., Sullivan, K., & Kinzler, K. (2016) Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(34), 9480-9485. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605456113
Weight loss (bariatric) surgery is likely to become increasingly important to address the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and other nations.There are several types of surgical techniques used for bariatric surgery.One of the most invasive is the Rous-en-Y gastric bypass (RYG) operation. This operation involves bisection of the small intestine and reattachment of the upper section to a position lower down the small intestine. This provides for a shorter distance for food to be absorbed.Less invasive........ Read more »
Maciejewski ML, Arterburn DE, Van Scoyoc L, Smith VA, Yancy WS Jr, Weidenbacher HJ, Livingston EH, & Olsen MK. (2016) Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Durability of Weight Loss. JAMA surgery. PMID: 27579793
What exactly are SETI signals?... Read more »
Carrigan Jr, R. (2006) Do potential SETI signals need to be decontaminated?. Acta Astronautica, 58(2), 112-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.05.004
About the factors potentially limiting susceptibility to Blastocystis colonisation/infection.... Read more »
Blessmann, J., Ali, I., Ton Nu, P., Dinh, B., Ngo Viet, T., Le Van, A., Clark, C., & Tannich, E. (2003) Longitudinal Study of Intestinal Entamoeba histolytica Infections in Asymptomatic Adult Carriers. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41(10), 4745-4750. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.41.10.4745-4750.2003
Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW, & Cotter PD. (2014) The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota. FEMS microbiology ecology, 90(1), 326-30. PMID: 25077936
The Eatles are chomping on the remains of a red kangaroo. Come learn about some of the anatomical specializations in this fascinating animal.... Read more »
McCarthy, M. (1996) Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) Dynamics: Effects of Rainfall, Density Dependence, Harvesting and Environmental Stochasticity. The Journal of Applied Ecology, 33(1), 45. DOI: 10.2307/2405014
Sharman, G., Frith, H., & Calaby, J. (1964) Growth of the pouch young, tooth eruption and age determination in the Red Kangaroo, Megaleia rufa. CSIRO Wildlife Research, 9(1), 20. DOI: 10.1071/CWR9640020
Contractile fiber type and mitochondrial function are two key factors of skeletal muscle function. However, the exact mechanism for coupling the two remains unknown. The genes encoding type I myosins Myh7/Myh7b regulate muscle fiber type switching by encoding their intronic miRNAs, miR-208b and miR-499. In a new study, Liu et al., 2016 use transgenic mice to show that miR-499 directly targets the gene encoding folliculin‐interacting protein‐1 (Fnip1), which negatively regulates AMPK. AMPK ........ Read more »
Liu J, Liang X, Zhou D, Lai L, Xiao L, Liu L, Fu T, Kong Y, Zhou Q, Vega RB.... (2016) Coupling of mitochondrial function and skeletal muscle fiber type by a miR-499/Fnip1/AMPK circuit. EMBO molecular medicine. PMID: 27506764
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