Post List

  • September 3, 2015
  • 08:49 AM

Living on the Edge: Bioarchaeology of Medieval Iceland

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

It is the first week of school here at Michigan State University, and not surprisingly, we’ve got super high temperatures and crazy humidity. It feels like you’re entering a steam […]... Read more »

G. ZOËGA AND K. A. MURPHY. (2015) Life on the Edge of the Arctic: The Bioarchaeology of the Keldudalur Cemetery in Skagafjörður, Iceland. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/

  • September 3, 2015
  • 04:34 AM

What will happen to my child when I'm gone?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

From time to time I cover some uncomfortable topics on this blog as a function of what hand the autism research cards deal. Today is another one of those times as I bring to your attention the paper by Cathy Cox and colleagues [1] and their analysis of death concerns and psychological wellbeing in mothers of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).What they observed based on completion of a "fear of death scale" and "measures of death-thought accessibility, positive and negative affect, depression, and anxiety" by some 70 mums of children with autism and 70 mums of "typically developing children" suggested that more investigation in this area is required. Aside from reporting "worse psychological health" than control mums, the autism mums group "evidenced greater death-thought accessibility" that in turn "mediated the influence of ASD diagnosis on negative affect, depression, and anxiety." In other words: "increased death-thought accessibility among mothers of children with ASD was associated with worse psychological health."Thinking about one's own mortality and the idea that our time on this dusty rock called home is finite is not an uncommon feature of life. Death is a daily feature of life as any newspaper or news website informs us. Specifically with autism in mind, various viewpoints have been published by parents of children with autism on the topic of death concerns and the important question: what will happen to my child / children when I'm gone?This is an uncomfortable question to try and answer given the multitude of factors around things like provisions, finances and family circumstances including the role that any siblings may need to play. That also a parents death will inevitably affect the child (or adult) with autism serves to further complicate any response. It's perhaps not surprising that some parents have written some fairly extreme material with titles like 'Why I can never die' when it comes to this topic.There is no easy way through this important subject. Cox et al talk about how training care providers to "better discuss thoughts of death may help to alleviate stress and foster greater psychological well-being" for parents of children with autism as being one answer. I agree that death needs to figure more in conversations but am slightly unsure as to how talk without positive action and planning is going to put minds at rest and reduce an already heavy burden of stress and risk of adverse psychological health. That there may also be some fairly unique circumstances associated with the presentation of anxiety in some mums [2] (see here for further reading on intolerance of uncertainty) perhaps adds to the requirement for quite a bit more study and action in this important area.----------[1] Cox CR. et al. Death concerns and psychological well-being in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Res Dev Disabil. 2015 Aug 6;45-46:229-238.[2] Uljarević M. et al. Brief Report: Effects of Sensory Sensitivity and Intolerance of Uncertainty on Anxiety in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Aug 9.----------Cox CR, Eaton S, Ekas NV, & Van Enkevort EA (2015). Death concerns and psychological well-being in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in developmental disabilities, 45-46, 229-238 PMID: 26256841... Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:41 PM

A supposedly memory-enhancing commercial brain-stimulation device actually impairs memory

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's easy to understand why so many people have been tempted by the futuristic-looking brain stimulation headset. The manufacturers promise their product will increase brain speed and plasticity and improve mental abilities such as working memory. What's more, the device uses a technology that's usually described as "non-invasive" – transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS for short – to send currents apparently safely into your prefrontal cortex.There is ample lab research to suggest that tDCS can have cognitive benefits (although a recent review questioned such claims). However, the device is not exactly the same as the CE-certified devices used in this past research, and experts in the field have called for more direct investigations of commercial tDCS products. Others have warned that the biological effects of the technology (altering brain cell activity) shouldn't really be considered non-invasive at all, and that the long-term effects of the devices is unknown.Now a new study has just been published in Experimental Brain Research that directly tests the effects of the headset on participants' working memory. Note, this study was on the original headset which was on sale for several years, but which late last year the company replaced with its CE-certified version 2 product.Laura Steenbergen and her colleagues assigned 12 participants to receive brain stimulation from the headset for 20 minutes prior to completing a working memory task; 12 others received stimulation "online", which means it was applied during the working memory task. The headset was worn precisely as the manufacturers instruct, with two electrodes placed on each side of the front of the head (see image, right). Each group conducted a genuine brain stimulation session, and also a "sham" session in which the device was only switched on for thirty seconds and then switched off. Participants couldn't tell which session was real and which was sham. The working memory test was a variant of the widely-used n-back task, which involved watching a stream of letters on-screen and looking out for when the current letter matched the letter shown two items earlier (in the easier version of the task), or the letter shown four items earlier (in a devilishly difficult version of the task). This is a test of working memory because it requires that participants keep track of the history of prior letters while at the same time paying attention to new letters.The take-home finding is bad news for users and highlights the need for more research on commercially available brain stimulation products. In the active stimulation condition (online or offline), participants actually spotted fewer of the target letters in both the easier and more difficult versions of the working memory task (75 per cent accuracy versus 78 per cent, on average; a statistically significant difference). Meanwhile, reports of uncomfortable sensations such as burning at the electrode and headache were higher in the stimulation condition than in the sham condition. At least in this investigation, the brain stimulation was all pain and no gain." is just one example of a device that can easily be purchased and, without any control or expert knowledge, used by anyone," the researchers said. "The results of our study are straightforward in showing that the claims made by companies manufacturing such devices need to be validated."_________________________________  Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Colzato, L. (2015). “Unfocus” on commercial tDCS headset impairs working memory Experimental Brain Research DOI: 10.1007/s00221-015-4391-9 --further reading--The trouble with tDCS? Electrical brain stimulation may not work after allIt's shocking - How the press are hyping the benefits of electrical brain stimulationRead this before zapping your brainPost written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.Our free fortnightly email will keep you up-to-date with all the psychology research we digest: Sign up!

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Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Colzato, L. (2015) “Unfocus” on commercial tDCS headset impairs working memory. Experimental Brain Research. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-015-4391-9  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:23 PM

Feeling blue and seeing blue: Sadness may impair color perception

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we’re down in the dumps and we often talk about “feeling blue” — new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor. The results of two studies indicate that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive color. Specifically, researchers found that participants who were induced to feel sad were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow axis than those who were led to feel amused or emotionally neutral.... Read more »

Thorstenson CA, Pazda AD, & Elliot AJ. (2015) Sadness Impairs Color Perception. Psychological science. PMID: 26307592  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 12:48 PM

Managing Fatigue in Match-Play Tennis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The 2015 U.S. Tennis Open is in full swing and I ran into an interesting recent manuscript summarizing fatigue in tennis.Fatigue has multiple elements including changes in muscle performance, blood markers of lactic acid and other compounds as well as brain central perception factors.Long multi-set matches can last four or five hours. Obviously, at the end of this type of exertion, players have had to adjust to effects of significant fatigue.Reid and Duffield review the key elements of fatigue in match-play tennis. Their review highlights the significant lack of data to understand fatigue in tennis. I will break my notes and comments into the components of their scholarly review.Physiological ProfileMaximum heart rates during tennis typically range between 60-80% of max with oxygen consumption around 70% of maximumLactic acid levels fluctuate but do not typically reach levels seen with anaerobic exerciseBlood markers of muscle damage after matches show significant increases in muscle related CPK enzymesDehydration can contribute to impaired muscle performance as can deprivation of glycogen stores. These effects are largely prevented by professional tennis players use of fluids and oral carbohydrates in the course of playPhysiological effects are significant with long matches but unlikely to be a key element of fatigueMovement CharacteristicsGPS and movement tracking devices are allowing more precise analysis of movement characteristics over the course of 3 or 4 hour matchesMovement analysis suggests a 5% reduction in amount of movement during the course of a 3 to 4 hours match. Additionally, when long matches occur over consecutive days, movement can be reduced by up to 15% on day 4 compared to day 1The effect of these movement reductions with play is unclear and it has not been demonstrated that this factors is lessened in those who win long matches Changes in Mechanical, Contractile and CognitiveThe reduction in tennis stroke accuracy (i.e. % of first serves in play) with long duration of play is unclearSome studies suggest velocity reductions with fatigue are not automatically linked to reduction of stroke accuracyOne element of the development of expertise in tennis is to show smaller levels of velocity reduction and inaccuracy with long duration of playMatch play over 2 hours reduces contractile muscle strength by 10-25%Being interested in the brain, I noted the review found that mental fatigue and physical fatigue are correlatedElite players use their perception of their level of physical fatigue during the course of a matchMotivation and cognitive factors may be able to delay or ignore physical fatigue perception later in match in elite playersThe review notes that what is known about fatigue in tennis is often limited to players of average skill. Information about elite players is very limited.However, with the evolution of sophisticated movement and physiological analysis, tennis is ready for a data and science upgrade to understand and enhance elite tennis player performance.Readers with more interest on this topic can access the free full-text manuscript by clicking on the PMID link below.Kaleidoscopic photo of monarch butterfly on milkweed flower is from the author's files.Follow the author on Twitter @WRY999Reid M, & Duffield R (2014). The development of fatigue during match-play tennis. British journal of sports medicine, 48 Suppl 1 PMID: 24668384... Read more »

Reid M, & Duffield R. (2014) The development of fatigue during match-play tennis. British journal of sports medicine. PMID: 24668384  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 09:36 AM

Video Tip of the Week: ENCODE Data Coordination Center, phase 3

by Mary in OpenHelix

The ENCODE project began many years ago, with a pilot phase, that examined just 1% of the human genome. But this initial exploration helped the consortium participants to iron out some of the directions for later stages–including focusing on specific cell lines, techniques, and technologies in Phase 2. There have been a number of publications […]... Read more »

Malladi, V., Erickson, D., Podduturi, N., Rowe, L., Chan, E., Davidson, J., Hitz, B., Ho, M., Lee, B., Miyasato, S.... (2015) Ontology application and use at the ENCODE DCC. Database. DOI: 10.1093/database/bav010  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Preparation Makes a Difference to Pets in an Emergency

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

After the Great Earthquake in Japan, preparation was key to evacuating with pets - including training and socialization.When the magnitude 9 earthquake struck Japan in 2011, causing a tsunami and subsequent accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, over 15,000 people were killed. Many people had to evacuate at short notice. In 2012, pet owners from two of the most badly affected areas, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, were asked about whether or not they took their pet and the types of planning they had done beforehand. The survey, by Sakiko Yamazaki (Humane Society International), has important implications for disaster preparedness. In both Iwate and Fukushima, the most common thing people had done to prepare for an emergency was to have extra supplies of pet food. The percentage of people who did this was about the same amongst those who did and did not evacuate with their pet.Training and socialization of pets made a difference. Yamazaki says, “a higher percentage of those who evacuated with their pets prepared by socialization/obedience training pets, compared with those who could not, suggesting that this could be an effective way to prepare regardless of the type of disaster.”In Iwate, 46% of people who evacuated with pets had socialized and trained them, compared to 26% of those who had to leave their pets behind. In Fukushima, the figures are 30% and 8%, respectively.46% of the participants had to leave all their pets behind when they evacuated. Only 41% were able to take all of their pets with them. The situation in Fukushima was slightly different than Iwate, since people were not encouraged to take pets with them, and thought they would only be evacuated for a short time. In Fukushima, other factors that made a difference were having extra (non-food) supplies for the pet, having copies of the pet’s photo and vet record, and knowing where they could board their pet temporarily.The most common help needed after the quake was provision of pet food. Not surprisingly, people who had left their pet behind were more likely to need help in locating their pet. In Iwate, vet care was also needed; and in Fukushima, other pet supplies were needed. Help still needed at the time of the survey varied, reflecting the fact that those in Fukushima were still in temporary accommodation. These results show that an everyday thing – the training and socialization of your pet – turned out to be essential in an emergency. This means disaster preparedness for pets is not just about emergency supplies, but also about giving your pet the skills to cope with normal, everyday living. 289 people completed the survey (140 from Iwate Prefecture and 149 in Fukushima). It is not a random sample, and people in Iwate were recruited via an organization that gave help to pet-owners (and hence may have been more likely to seek help). The questionnaire also relies on people’s memories after the event. Nonetheless the results are useful since participants were all people who evacuated at the time of the disaster from areas that were devastated.Other studies have highlighted the importance of including pets in emergency planning (Heath and Linnabary, 2015), and of utilizing pets to help vulnerable people prepare for disasters (Thompson et al 2014). People will often risk their lives to save pets in an emergency. Preparing in advance helps ensure your pet can go with you if you ever have to evacuate. This study is a concrete example of the difference it can make.What is the emergency preparedness plan for your household?The full paper is available to read (open access) here. Photo: Grisha Bruev ( ReferencesHeath, S.E., & Linnabary, R.D. (2015). Challenges of managing animals in disasters in the US Animals, 5 (2), 173-192 : 10.3390/ani5020173#sthash.7n7gGyyg.dpuf Thompson, K.,, Every, D., Rainbird, S., Cornell, V., Smith, B., & Trigg, J. (2014). No pet or their person left behind: Increasing the disaster resilience of vulnerable groups through animal attachment, activities and networks Animals , 4 (2), 214-240 : 10.3390/ani4020214 ... Read more »

Heath, S.E., & Linnabary, R.D. (2015) Challenges of managing animals in disasters in the US. Animals, 5(2), 173-192. info:/10.3390/ani5020173#sthash.7n7gGyyg.dpuf

Thompson, K.,, Every, D., Rainbird, S., Cornell, V., Smith, B., & Trigg, J. (2014) No pet or their person left behind: Increasing the disaster resilience of vulnerable groups through animal attachment, activities and networks. Animals , 4(2), 214-240. info:/10.3390/ani4020214

A survey of companion-animal owners affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, Japan. (2015) Yamazaki, S. Anthrozoos, 28(2). info:/

  • September 2, 2015
  • 08:15 AM

Don’t Disrespect The Dizygotic

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Spies try to look boring, but in reality they are much more interesting than the average Joe. So it is with dizygotic twins; monozygotic twins (“identical”) get all the glory, but they’re just a split egg, any female can do it. But dizygotic twins – certain families have more, Nigerian women have more, older women have more, taller women and overweight women have more. Now there’s something that looks boring but must be interesting.... Read more »

Simpson, C., Robertson, D., Al-Musawi, S., Heath, D., McNatty, K., Ritter, L., Mottershead, D., Gilchrist, R., Harrison, C., & Stanton, P. (2014) Aberrant GDF9 Expression and Activation Are Associated With Common Human Ovarian Disorders. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology , 99(4). DOI: 10.1210/jc.2013-3949  

Palmer, J., Zhao, Z., Hoekstra, C., Hayward, N., Webb, P., Whiteman, D., Martin, N., Boomsma, D., Duffy, D., & Montgomery, G. (2006) Novel Variants in Growth Differentiation Factor 9 in Mothers of Dizygotic Twins. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology , 91(11), 4713-4716. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2006-0970  

Hoekstra, C., Willemsen, G., van Beijsterveldt, C., Lambalk, C., Montgomery, G., & Boomsma, D. (2010) Body composition, smoking, and spontaneous dizygotic twinning. Fertility and Sterility, 93(3), 885-893. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.012  

Groeneveld, E., Lambers, M., Stakelbeek, M., Mooij, T., van den Belt-Dusebout, A., Heymans, M., Schats, R., Hompes, P., Hoek, A., Burger, C.... (2012) Factors associated with dizygotic twinning after IVF treatment with double embryo transfer. Human Reproduction, 27(10), 2966-2970. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/des258  

  • September 2, 2015
  • 05:03 AM

Higgs even more standard

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

LHCP 2015 is going on at St. Peterburg and new results were presented by the two main collaborations at CERN. CMS and ATLAS combined the results from run 1 and improved the quality of the measured data of the Higgs particle discovered on 2012. CERN press release is here. I show you the main picture about […]... Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 02:13 AM

Sub-threshold autistic traits and creativity

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued by the results reported by Catherine Best and colleagues [1] recently and the suggestion that yet another sweeping generalisation attributed to autism (or at least autistic traits) might turn out to be not as accurate or universal as we might have all been led to believe.Based on the analysis of data from over 300 people who completed an on-line questionnaire (anonymously) measuring autistic traits, researchers reported that creative ideas as measured by a divergent thinking task might show some connection to self-reported autistic traits. Further: "autistic traits were associated with high numbers of unusual responses on the divergent thinking tasks." Ergo, thinking outside of the box may show something of a relationship to autistic traits and creativity may not be an alien concept for those on the autism spectrum (a shocker I know).Bearing in mind headlines such as 'Scientists discover people with autism have 'fewer ideas but are more creative and think outside the box'' that don't really reflect the study design and findings in their entirety (only 75 of the study participants said they had received a diagnosis of autism), I do think that the Best study findings call for quite a bit more research inspection in this area. Previous investigations have for example, suggested that there may be quite a bit more to see when it comes to verbal creativity and [some] autism [2] bearing in mind the small participant numbers included in such trials.Divergent thinking and it's links to creativity is not necessarily a new concept when it comes to autism despite the increasing recent popularisation of this phenomenon. Viewers in the UK might have already seen the Channel 4 series 'The Autistic Gardener' detailing how a diagnosis of autism may not be a hurdle to good design skills; also over-turning other generalisations about perceived interests and vocations for those on the autism spectrum too (see here).Caution does need to applied to the Best findings as they stand bearing in mind the study methodology used and the application of their findings to "a non-clinical sample." As per other commentary on the paper, it is still a little unclear as to how listing alternative uses for a brick or paper clip actually translates into a real-world setting. That also aspects of creativity have been previously associated with other labels (see here) and the lack of information on study participants with some of these other aspects in mind (e.g. comorbidity), and one needs to be mindful not to push the findings beyond their original scope however desirable they may be.Still, the study results do make for some interesting reading and reiterate that all minds potentially have something rich to offer to society. Indeed, playing to strengths is a key theme of other recent research as per the concept of 'attention to detail' and threat detection [3] for example.Music: Daft Punk - One More Time.----------[1] Best C. et al. The Relationship Between Subthreshold Autistic Traits, Ambiguous Figure Perception and Divergent Thinking. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders. 2015. August 14.[2] Kasirer A. & Mashal N. Verbal creativity in autism: comprehension and generation of metaphoric language in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and typical development. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Aug 11;8:615.[3] Rusconi E. et al. XRIndex: a brief screening tool for individual differences in security threat detection in x-ray images. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Aug 10;9:439.----------Best, C., Arora, S., Porter, F., & Doherty, M. (2015). The Relationship Between Subthreshold Autistic Traits, Ambiguous Figure Perception and Divergent Thinking Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2518-2... Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 12:05 AM

Ain’t no Half Stepping - Students with Chronic Ankle Instability are Less Active

by Nicole Cattano in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

College students with chronic ankle instability have lower activity levels and more symptoms than healthy students. Activity levels appear to be related to the amount of ankle laxity.... Read more »

  • September 1, 2015
  • 05:47 PM

Does Everyone Dream?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Everyone dreams - even people who believe that they "never dream" and can't remember any of their dreams. That's according to a group of French researchers writing in the Journal of Sleep Research: Evidence that non-dreamers do dream.

In questionnaire surveys, up to 6.5% of people report that they 'never dream'. Although most of these people report having dreamed at some point in the past, roughly 1 in every 250 people say that they can't remember ever dreaming - not even once.

But... Read more »

  • September 1, 2015
  • 01:34 PM

Researchers help identify neural basis of multitasking

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What makes someone better at switching between different tasks? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive flexibility, researchers have used brain scans to shed new light on this question. By studying networks of activity in the brain’s frontal cortex, a region associated with control over thoughts and actions, the researchers have shown that the degree to which these networks reconfigure themselves while switching from task to task predicts people’s cognitive flexibility.... Read more »

  • September 1, 2015
  • 12:06 PM

Parasitized Bees May Self-Medicate with Nectar

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Mary Poppins taught us that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. A bumblebee's favorite sugary drink may already be laced with medicine. And bees seem to dose themselves with medicinal nectar when they're suffering from a gut full of parasites.

Plants manufacture many chemical compounds to defend against attackers. Some of these are familiar to humans—like capsaicin, the potent weapon made by chili pepper plants. But not every animal enjoys painful food experiences like we do, ... Read more »

  • September 1, 2015
  • 10:25 AM

The blastocyst achieves on-time implantation by entosis

by Xiaofei Sun in the Node

The process of embryo implantation consists of multiple steps: blastocyst apposition, adhesion to uterine luminal epithelial (LE) cells, and removal of the epithelial cells encasing the blastocysts. How the blastocyst trophectoderm breaches the luminal epithelial barrier has been studied for decades, the mechanism of the abstraction of LE cells was not clearly understood. Since the[...]

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The post The blastocyst achieves on-time implantation by entosis appeared first on the Node.
... Read more »

Finn CA, & McLaren A. (1967) A study of the early stages of implantation in mice. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 259-267. info:/10.1530/jrf.0.0130259

Krehbiel RH. (1937) Cytological Studies of the Decidual Reaction in the Rat during Early Pregnancy and in the Production of Deciduomata. Physiological Zoology, 212-234. info:/

Sun X, Zhang L, Xie H, Wan H, Magella B, Whitsett JA, & Dey SK. (2012) Kruppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is critical for conferring uterine receptivity to implantation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(4), 1145-1150. PMID: 22233806  

Wang H, & Dey SK. (2006) Roadmap to embryo implantation: clues from mouse models. Nature reviews. Genetics, 7(3), 185-199. PMID: 16485018  

  • September 1, 2015
  • 08:38 AM

This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2015)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

When is a parasite not a parasite? Where lies the border between parasites and mutalists? Are we letting some of our common colonisers down by mere predjudice? Find out in This Month of Blastocystis Research (AUG 2015).... Read more »

Andersen LO, Bonde I, Nielsen HB, & Stensvold CR. (2015) A retrospective metagenomics approach to studying Blastocystis. FEMS microbiology ecology, 91(7). PMID: 26130823  

Lukeš J, Stensvold CR, Jirků-Pomajbíková K, & Wegener Parfrey L. (2015) Are Human Intestinal Eukaryotes Beneficial or Commensals?. PLoS pathogens, 11(8). PMID: 26270819  

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  

  • September 1, 2015
  • 03:30 AM

5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

So much to learn. Will it ever end? Nope. You will be learning for the rest of your life. School is simply a kick starter. No matter what path you take in life after school, learning will be part of it. Yet, the forever journey to develop your talents doesn’t have to be nerve-racking or…
Check out 5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • September 1, 2015
  • 03:07 AM

Let's talk about sex and autism (reviewed)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The review from Nicola Beddows and Rachel Brooks [1] highlighting the important issue of sexual behaviour with autism in mind is brought to your attention today.Trawling through the peer-reviewed literature looking at reports of inappropriate sexual behaviour present in adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the authors concluded that various behaviours were included and that there were a variety of possible reasons for said behaviours. Indeed they report that: "Despite being such a common problem for schools, institutions and families to manage, it is surprising how sparse literature is particularly regarding why inappropriate behaviour occurs and what education is effective."Sex education is a topic that has cropped up quite early on in the life of this blog (see here). Although jesting with the inclusion of an excerpt from a Seinfeld episode in that particular entry, the important message was that more efforts need to be made to talk about sex and the various details around the topic with young people on the autism spectrum. And when I say 'young people' I mean young people (not just as and when hair starts sprouting and other bodily changes start happening to accompany that golden time called PUBERTY).Beddows & Brooks make some important points about how to approach the topic of sex education with autism in mind: "It is suggested that individualized, repetitive education should be started from an early age in an accessible form. Social skills development is also important before more technical aspects of sex education are taught." I can't disagree with such sentiments, although would also link you to some writings from an expert in this area (Dr Lynne Moxon) about sex education and the 'special' child and a document from NHS Choices covering an equally important area: sexual health. I might also add that some research groups seem to be listening to the idea that sex education training could be a useful add-on for some people on the autism spectrum [2]...'Don't be afraid to talk about sex' is the message. So also said Salt-N-Peppa...----------[1] Beddows N. & Brooks R. Inappropriate sexual behaviour in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: what education is recommended and why. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 12.[2] Visser K. et al. Study protocol: a randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of a psychosexual training program for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. BMC Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 28;15(1):207.----------Beddows N, & Brooks R (2015). Inappropriate sexual behaviour in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: what education is recommended and why. Early intervention in psychiatry PMID: 26265030... Read more »

  • August 31, 2015
  • 06:23 PM

Abdominal Obesity Raises Risk of Breast Cancer in Pre and Post Menopausal Women

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Dr. Alexandra White PhD in Epidemiology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Postdoctoral fellow National Institute of Environmental Health Science MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. White: Many studies have shown that being … Continue reading →
The post Abdominal Obesity Raises Risk of Breast Cancer in Pre and Post Menopausal Women appeared first on Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more » Interview with:, & Dr. Alexandra White PhD in Epidemiology. (2015) Abdominal Obesity Raises Risk of Breast Cancer in Pre and Post Menopausal Women. info:/

  • August 31, 2015
  • 06:02 PM

Study Reports High Prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma Among Recent Veterans

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Shannon K. Barth MPH Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public Health, Post Deployment Health Epidemiology Program Washington, District of Columbia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: This study used data from the … Continue reading →
The post Study Reports High Prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma Among Recent Veterans appeared first on Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more » Interview with:, & Shannon K. Barth MPH. (2015) Study Reports High Prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma Among Recent Veterans. info:/

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