Nature or nurture? The quest to understand why humans kill one another has occupied the minds of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists for centuries. Are we innately violent, as Englishman Thomas Hobbes postulated in the 1650s, or is our behaviour influenced more by the environment we grow up in, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorised a century later?
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I'm cheating a little bit today as minus too much critical commentary or discussion, I'm drawing your attention to the paper by Tony Salvatore and colleagues  (open-access) on a most important topic: suicide risk and autism.Written by authors who between them seem to know quite a bit about autism and also managing suicide prevention particularly under crisis conditions, I reckon this review article is one of the best we have so far in this area. I say that on the basis that not only are estim........ Read more »
Chang, B., Franklin, J., Ribeiro, J., Fox, K., Bentley, K., Kleiman, E., & Nock, M. (2016) Biological risk factors for suicidal behaviors: a meta-analysis. Translational Psychiatry, 6(9). DOI: 10.1038/tp.2016.165
A method for remotely detecting pollutants and other chemicals in the atmosphere has been demonstrated by physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, using laser-generated jets of plasma. Their laboratory experiments could pave the way to instruments used to monitor pollution levels high in the atmosphere, or for detecting hazardous biochemicals in an industrial process from a safe stand-off distance.... Read more »
Liang, H., Weerawarne, D., Krogen, P., Grynko, R., Lai, C., Shim, B., Kärtner, F., & Hong, K. (2016) Mid-infrared laser filaments in air at a kilohertz repetition rate. Optica, 3(7), 678. DOI: 10.1364/OPTICA.3.000678
A team of researchers has found that consuming an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders. DHA can be found in fatty, cold-water fish and is produced by the algae that fish eat and store in their bodies. It can be found in fish oil supplements as well, used by more than 30 million Americans.
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Bates, M., Brandenberger, C., Langohr, I., Kumagai, K., Lock, A., Harkema, J., Holian, A., & Pestka, J. (2016) Silica-Triggered Autoimmunity in Lupus-Prone Mice Blocked by Docosahexaenoic Acid Consumption. PLOS ONE, 11(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160622
The International Rare Lung Diseases Research Conference (RLDC) and LAM symposium were held last week over four days. They brought together clinicians, scientists, patients and families to Cincinnati to review research developments in rare lung disease and to promote dialogue between the research community and patients. Next week’s blog will focus on the highlights of the entire conference. This week the blog is focused on the BHD syndrome specific talk and poster.... Read more »
Toro JR, Pautler SE, Stewart L, Glenn GM, Weinreich M, Toure O, Wei MH, Schmidt LS, Davis L, Zbar B.... (2007) Lung cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, and genetic associations in 89 families with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 175(10), 1044-53. PMID: 17322109
"The results indicate that there is an elevated injury risk among Swedish schoolchildren with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] but not for children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So went the findings reported by Carl Bonander and colleagues  providing yet more important data on how a diagnosis of ADHD might be something that confers quite a bit of additional risk for all-manner of different negative outcomes.I've hinted at this important topic before as per........ Read more »
Bonander C, Beckman L, Janson S, & Jernbro C. (2016) Injury risks in schoolchildren with attention-deficit/hyperactivity or autism spectrum disorder: Results from two school-based health surveys of 6- to 17-year-old children in Sweden. Journal of safety research, 49-56. PMID: 27620934
Scientists have identified that social memories are stored in the vetral CA1 region of the brain (in mice). After meeting a mouse and forgetting it, the memories can be reactivated optogenetically, indicating that they exist, but cannot be retrieved after time passes... Read more »
Children with HIV who can resist the disease progressing could point the way to new treatments for HIV infection that are more widely applicable to infected adults and children alike, an international team of researchers has found.
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Muenchhoff, M., Adland, E., Karimanzira, O., Crowther, C., Pace, M., Csala, A., Leitman, E., Moonsamy, A., McGregor, C., Hurst, J.... (2016) Nonprogressing HIV-infected children share fundamental immunological features of nonpathogenic SIV infection. Science Translational Medicine, 8(358), 358-358. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag1048
The journal Neurology published a unique and touching paper today: it's by artist Susan Schneider Williams, the widow of actor Robin Williams, who died by suicide in August 2014. It's titled The terrorist inside my husband's brain, the 'terrorist' being Lewy Body disease (LBD), the neurodegenerative disorder that, as Schneider Williams recounts, destroyed his life.
Here's how she describes the first signs of her husbands' illness:
The colors were changing and the air was crisp; it wa... Read more »
When extremely happy or relaxed, rats will display a behavior known as boggling where their eyes vibrate and bulge. ... Read more »
Froberg-fejko, Karen. (2014) Give a rat a bone: satisfying rodents' need to gnaw. Lab animal. info:/
Some comments on early animal evolution fossil record and Indian Peninsular Proterozoic Basins... Read more »
Kale, V. (2016) Proterozoic Basins of Peninsular India: Status within the Global Proterozoic Systems. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, 82(3). DOI: 10.16943/ptinsa/2016/48461
Mathur, V., Shome, S., Nath, S., & Babu, R. (2014) First record of metazoan eggs and embryos from early Cambrian Chert Member of Deo ka Tibba Formation, Tal Group, Uttarakhand Lesser Himalaya. Journal of the Geological Society of India, 83(2), 191-197. DOI: 10.1007/s12594-014-0031-4
Stone tools and fossils suggest that an early wave of Homo sapiens may have migrated into India as early as 100K years ago. Did these migrants leave a genetic trace in present day Indians.. ... Read more »
Mallick, S., Li, H., Lipson, M., Mathieson, I., Gymrek, M., Racimo, F., Zhao, M., Chennagiri, N., Nordenfelt, S., Tandon, A.... (2016) The Simons Genome Diversity Project: 300 genomes from 142 diverse populations. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature18964
They've finally arrived. The results of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014 have been published by NHS Digital (yes, our Nation's healthcare services has a digital arm) and when it comes to autism (adult autism 18 years+), some rather peculiar statistics have been produced.OK, for those who want/need a quick heads-up on all-things Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), I'll refer you to a previous post I wrote covering this prevalence survey with autism in mind........ Read more »
Brugha TS, McManus S, Smith J, Scott FJ, Meltzer H, Purdon S, Berney T, Tantam D, Robinson J, Radley J.... (2012) Validating two survey methods for identifying cases of autism spectrum disorder among adults in the community. Psychological medicine, 42(3), 647-56. PMID: 21798110
"School-based interventions should address malleable factors such as the number of peer connections and received friendships that predict the best social outcomes for children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the study findings reported by Jill Locke and colleagues  looking at "the stable (unlikely to change) and malleable (changeable) characteristics of socially successful children with ASD."Mindful that the phrase 'socially successful children' is perhaps not one that I'm p........ Read more »
Locke J, Williams J, Shih W, & Kasari C. (2016) Characteristics of socially successful elementary school-aged children with autism. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27620949
A couple of years ago, I mused here on Language on the Move what linguistic theory would look like if...... Read more »
Piller, I. (2016) Dubai: Language in the ethnocratic, corporate and mobile city. Smakman, D. and P. Heinrich. Eds. Metrolinguistics: Urban Language Ecologies around the World. info:/
A team of researchers has observed what they believe are the building blocks of memories in a mouse brain. In their paper, the researchers describe how they caused certain neurons to become illuminated when they fired, allowing them to watch in real time as memories were made and then later as they were replayed while the mouse was sitting idle.
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Malvache, A., Reichinnek, S., Villette, V., Haimerl, C., & Cossart, R. (2016) Awake hippocampal reactivations project onto orthogonal neuronal assemblies. Science, 353(6305), 1280-1283. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3319
One clinical challenge is making an accurate diagnosis in patients with dementia.Alzheimer's disease is typically the predominant diagnosis in dementia. However a significant number of patients will present with dementia due to Lewy Body disease, Parkinson's dementia, frontotemporal dementia or vascular dementia.A recent study helps clinicians to distinguish Lewy Body from Alzheimer's dementia and Parkinson's disease.Douglas Scharre and collegues from Ohio State University conducted ........ Read more »
Scharre, D., Chang, S., Nagaraja, H., Park, A., Adeli, A., Agrawal, P., Kloos, A., Kegelmeyer, D., Linder, S., Fritz, N.... (2016) Paired Studies Comparing Clinical Profiles of Lewy Body Dementia with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 1-10. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160384
Cancer metastasis occurs when cancer cells leave a primary tumor and invade other tissues. Generally, this leads to a poor prognosis for patients. Underlying epigenetic mechanisms of tumor progression are poorly understood but are of great interest for developing new approaches of treatment in the clinic. Cancer etiology is highly correlated with alterations in the histone code1-5 and protein methyltransferases are frequently dysregulated in cancer, implicating them as compelling novel targets f........ Read more »
Chen H, Lorton B, Gupta V, & Shechter D. (2016) A TGFβ-PRMT5-MEP50 axis regulates cancer cell invasion through histone H3 and H4 arginine methylation coupled transcriptional activation and repression. Oncogene. PMID: 27270440
Chi P, Allis CD, & Wang GG. (2010) Covalent histone modifications--miswritten, misinterpreted and mis-erased in human cancers. Nature reviews. Cancer, 10(7), 457-69. PMID: 20574448
Stopa N, Krebs JE, & Shechter D. (2015) The PRMT5 arginine methyltransferase: many roles in development, cancer and beyond. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 72(11), 2041-59. PMID: 25662273
Cha B, & Jho EH. (2012) Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) as therapeutic targets. Expert opinion on therapeutic targets, 16(7), 651-64. PMID: 22621686
Yang XJ, & Seto E. (2008) Lysine acetylation: codified crosstalk with other posttranslational modifications. Molecular cell, 31(4), 449-61. PMID: 18722172
Greenblatt SM, Liu F, & Nimer SD. (2016) Arginine methyltransferases in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Experimental hematology, 44(6), 435-41. PMID: 27026282
Wilczek C, Chitta R, Woo E, Shabanowitz J, Chait BT, Hunt DF, & Shechter D. (2011) Protein arginine methyltransferase Prmt5-Mep50 methylates histones H2A and H4 and the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin in Xenopus laevis eggs. The Journal of biological chemistry, 286(49), 42221-31. PMID: 22009756
Ho MC, Wilczek C, Bonanno JB, Xing L, Seznec J, Matsui T, Carter LG, Onikubo T, Kumar PR, Chan MK.... (2013) Structure of the arginine methyltransferase PRMT5-MEP50 reveals a mechanism for substrate specificity. PloS one, 8(2). PMID: 23451136
Burgos ES, Wilczek C, Onikubo T, Bonanno JB, Jansong J, Reimer U, & Shechter D. (2015) Histone H2A and H4 N-terminal tails are positioned by the MEP50 WD repeat protein for efficient methylation by the PRMT5 arginine methyltransferase. The Journal of biological chemistry, 290(15), 9674-89. PMID: 25713080
Chan-Penebre E, Kuplast KG, Majer CR, Boriack-Sjodin PA, Wigle TJ, Johnston LD, Rioux N, Munchhof MJ, Jin L, Jacques SL.... (2015) A selective inhibitor of PRMT5 with in vivo and in vitro potency in MCL models. Nature chemical biology, 11(6), 432-7. PMID: 25915199
Liu F, Cheng G, Hamard PJ, Greenblatt S, Wang L, Man N, Perna F, Xu H, Tadi M, Luciani L.... (2015) Arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 is essential for sustaining normal adult hematopoiesis. The Journal of clinical investigation, 125(9), 3532-44. PMID: 26258414
Ikushima H, & Miyazono K. (2010) TGFbeta signalling: a complex web in cancer progression. Nature reviews. Cancer, 10(6), 415-24. PMID: 20495575
Lamouille, S., Xu, J., & Derynck, R. (2014) Molecular mechanisms of epithelial–mesenchymal transition. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 15(3), 178-196. DOI: 10.1038/nrm3758
For the first time, an antibody was able to target and disrupt the Aβ plaques in the brain.... Read more »
Sevigny, J., Chiao, P., Bussière, T., Weinreb, P., Williams, L., Maier, M., Dunstan, R., Salloway, S., Chen, T., Ling, Y.... (2016) The antibody aducanumab reduces Aβ plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. Nature, 537(7618), 50-56. DOI: 10.1038/nature19323
Dietary intake in young athletes seem to meet most recommendations, therefore supplementing may only be necessary for a few select micronutrients based on age and gender. ... Read more »
Parnell, J., Wiens, K., & Erdman, K. (2016) Dietary Intakes and Supplement Use in Pre-Adolescent and Adolescent Canadian Athletes. Nutrients, 8(9), 526. DOI: 10.3390/nu8090526
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