Post List

  • November 22, 2014
  • 02:45 PM
  • 20 views

Mental Health- The invisible barrier for women’s care

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

A while back I wrote a post about mental health and jail sentences, it seems like no one takes mental health seriously and that leads to lack of care for the individual. Well a new study offers even more bad news on the mental health front. Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings – Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams – than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbidities and early death, a new study indicates.... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 10:32 AM
  • 17 views

Hammerhead Slug: World's Largest Flatworm

by beredim in Strange Animals

Bipalium kewenseNotice the distinctive hammer-like headBy Ajaykuyiloor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: PlatyhelminthesClass: TurbellariaOrder: TricladidaSuborder: ContinenticolaFamily: GeoplanidaeSubfamily: BipaliinaeGenus: BipaliumSpecies: Bipalium kewenseCommon Names: Hammerhead slug, Greenhouse PlanarianNicknamed as the "hammerhead slug" due to its half-moon shaped head, Bipalium kewense is not your everyday flat worm. Not only does it hold the record for world's largest flatworm but it's also one of the few flatworms that live on land. Oh, did I mention that it defecates from its mouth?Distribution & HabitatThe hammerhead slug is believed to originate from Southeast Asia. However, it appears that the species has become cosmopolitan with recordings coming from many different tropical and subtropical countries. It's especially common in greenhouses, thus its second common name, the "greenhouse planarian".The species has been found spanning the entire southern portion of North America. Verified recordings include: Encanto, California Jersey City, New Jersey Nashua, New Hampshire New Orleans & Baton Rouge, Louisiana Puerto Rico, near Silver Springs Savannah, Georgia Urbana, Ohio Washington DCBipalium kewense is also common in the Hawaiian Islands and in the tropical parts of South America. It has also been sighted in the UK, China, Japan, New Zealand and many other countries. This widespread occurrence is the result of horticultural practices, mainly the commercial dispersion of potted plants.Like earthworms, hammerhead slugs prefer to burrow in moist soil. DescriptionFully mature adults routinely reach 40 cm (10 in) in length, with the maximum recorded length being about 60 cm (23 in). The body is covered by a layer of mucus that prevents it from losing too much water to the environment. The mucus is also important for locomotion.They usually come in dark colors, like gray, brown and black and have two distinctive dorsal stripes that run the length of the body. One of the species' weirdest traits is the half-moon shaped head. The mouth is located mid-way down the body (on the ventral side) which also serves as the.. anus since they don't have one. Yum! They also have no respiratory and circulatory system, skeleton and legs.Hammerhead slug, crossing a road near Hilo, Hawaii.By Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada (Bipalium kewense, a Hammerhead Worm.) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsDietThe Hammerhead slug is predatory, primarily feeding on earthworms although it will turn to cannibalism when food is scarce. The species dietary patterns have not been extensively studied, and it possibly feeds on other organisms, like slugs and insect larvae.To eat, it will follow trails left behind by earthworms until it finds one. When prey is caught, it will lay atop of it, as the sticky slime helps to hold it down to the soil. Then it protrudes its pharynx and sucks out the body fluid of the earthworm. Surely, not a good way to die..Hammerhead slug attacking an earthwormReproductionBipalium kewense is hermaphroditic (like all Bipalium species) and capable of both asexual and sexual reproduction. However, the latter has rarely been observed and apparently fragmentation is the preffered form of reproduction. This is done by chipping off about 1cm of the tail. The tip first attaches itself to something in the soil, and then the parent worm pulls away. The new worm can move immediately and develops a head within 10 days. As for sexual reproduction, they lay eggs in a bright red cocoon. After one day the cocoon turns black and the eggs hatch about 20 days later, depending on temperature and moisture conditions.Is it dangerous?Over half of all known flatworm species (Platyhelminthes) are parasitic and some do enormous harm to humans and their livestock. However, this is not the case with the majority of the flatworms in the Turbellaria class, including B. kewense.Production of Tetrodotoxin  Tetrodotoxin (or TTX) is a potent neurotoxin that among others induces paralysis. Recent research revealed that Bipalium kewense and the closely related B. adventitium have small amounts of it in their body, most probably used during predation to subdue large prey items. As of 2014, they remain the only known terrestrial invertebrates capable of producing this toxin.Interesting and Weird Facts Sum-Up- Half-moon shaped head- Mouth also serves as anus- All individuals are hermaphroditic and capable of sexual and asexual reproduction. They usually reproduce by chipping a small part of the tail- It is considered a pest to farmers because they predate on earthworms- Non-parasitic, harmless to humans- Along with the closely related B adventitium, the only known terrestrial invertebrate to produce the Tetrodotoxin toxin- First described in 1878, from a greenhouse at Kew Botanical Gardens near London, England.You may also likeIllacme plenipes - World's leggiest creatureScientists Create Alcohol-Resistant Worms That Might Cure AlcoholismMexican Mole Lizard: Strange lizard-worm-snake Like CreatureReferences & Further Reading- L. Winsor (1981). The taxonomy, zoogeography and biology of Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 (Tricladida, Terricola) Hydrobiologia, 84 (1), 17-17 DOI: 10.1007/BF00026158- ... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 09:10 AM
  • 42 views

Science Identifies The Catchiest Songs Ever – Did Your Favorite Make The List?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Using science, researchers are studying what makes songs catchy as a way to understand learning and memory. Did your favorite song make the list? ... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 28 views

Learning the right information with wrong guess

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Guessing even the wrong answer could help in learning the right answer.

Published in:

Memory & Cognition

Study Further:

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, worked on some volunteers and gave them some pairs of words. Some participants were given the word pairs to study, and others were asked to guess the pairs of words before showing the right answer. Researchers found that guessing process, even when it is wrong, helps in better learning of word pairs than simply studying them. This process of guessing has been found useful even if the participants were tested about 61 hours after the guessing process.

Learning right information through wrong guesses (Credit: boeter/Flickr)“The benefits of making incorrect guesses are not an artifact of the paradigm, nor are they limited to short retention intervals,” Researchers noted in the paper.

It is probably due to the fact that the participants, who guessed the answer, were mostly able to remember the guessed information and suppress it, thereby helping them in learning the right information. Exact mechanism is not clear, but guessing is thought to activate the mental web of knowledge and facts related to the right answer that is also helpful in subsequent storage of the correct information.

This research is particularly important for teachers or parents, who worry a lot about their students or children. Testing the students is important, even if they give wrong answers because it would help them in learning and eventually giving better results.
Reference:

Yan, V., Yu, Y., Garcia, M., & Bjork, R. (2014). Why does guessing incorrectly enhance, rather than impair, retention? Memory & Cognition, 42 (8), 1373-1383 DOI: 10.3758/s13421-014-0454-6... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 03:26 AM
  • 23 views

Children as research participants: assessing competence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was brought to writing about this topic after reading an interesting post by Virginia Hughes titled: Personhood Week: Do Kids Count? Among the various points raised in that article was some discussion about minors having medical autonomy and how this might impinge on areas outside of just medical decision-making. It also reminded me about something which was raised on more than one occasion when I undertook a stint on a University Ethics committee...Most people involved in the medical or social care of children in the UK will probably have heard about Gillick competence or the Fraser guidelines. Coupled together under the heading of assessing competency to consent to treatment, these guidance derived from judgements in law offer details on how and when a child under the age of 16 years old is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment without parental input and/or knowledge. Contraception was the test case upon which such guidance was first introduced, but the guidance has subsequently been more widely applied to cover many areas of childhood competence in medicine.You wouldn't eat your spinachGillick competence has also drifted into the arena of research (as members of any University ethics committee might know), alongside questions about whether child participation in research should be similarly governed by such guidance [1].The recent paper by Irma Hein and colleagues [2] adds to the discussion in this area, specifically with their analysis of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) and the question of when competency to participate in research studies might actually come about in the paediatric population. I will also direct you to some of the preamble about their study by the same authorship group [3] (open-access).Hein et al based on data derived from some 160 children aged between 6-18 years of age, concluded that the MacCAT-CR is a pretty good instrument when it comes to its use as a tool for assessing children's competence to consent to clinical research involvement. Perhaps more importantly however based on their results: "[in] children younger than 9.6 years, competence was unlikely (sensitivity, 90%); in those older than 11.2 years, competence was probable (specificity, 90%)". Further that: "The optimal cutoff age was 10.4 years (sensitivity, 81%; specificity, 84%)".Acknowledging that there is quite a bit more to do in this area, including whether there may geographic variations in the age cut-off described (this was a study conducted in The Netherlands), I found these results to be potentially very important. Not only because "consent may be justified when competence can be demonstrated in individual cases by the MacCAT-CR" suggestive that the MacCAT-CR can be administered to paediatric populations, but also because of the implications for whole disciplines involving children under the age of 16 as research participants.And on the basis of this being a blog about autism research, the question is: what influence the Hein findings might have on top of previous other ethical issues [4]?Music to close. Mr Pharmacist by The Fall.----------[1] Hunter D. & Pierscionek BK. Children, Gillick competency and consent for involvement in research. J Med Ethics. Nov 2007; 33(11): 659–662.[2] Hein I. et al. Accuracy of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) for Measuring Children’s Competence to Consent to Clinical Research. JAMA Pediatrics. 2014. October 13.[3] Hein IM. et al. Assessing children's competence to consent in research by a standardized tool: a validity study. BMC Pediatr. 2012 Sep 25;12:156.[4] Hoop JG. et al. Ethical issues in psychiatric research on children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2008 Jan;17(1):127-48, x.----------Hein IM, Troost PW, Lindeboom R, Benninga MA, Zwaan CM, van Goudoever JB, & Lindauer RJ (2014). Accuracy of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) for Measuring Children's Competence to Consent to Clinical Research. JAMA pediatrics PMID: 25317644... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 06:39 PM
  • 39 views

Dogtober = Canine science in October

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

What a BOOMING month for dogs and science October was! We've captured the links to all the latest blogs, research and news that caught out attention throughout Dog-tober.Thanks to Storify (click here if the you can't see the collection of links below) you can make sure you didn't miss out too.[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [01-31 October 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Bradshaw J.W.S. & Nicola J. Rooney (2014). Why do adult dogs ‘play’?, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.09.023Bozkurt A., Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang & Robert Loftin (2014). Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77© Do You Believe in Dog? 2014... Read more »

Bozkurt Alper, Barbara Sherman, Rita Brugarolas, Sean Mealin, John Majikes, Pu Yang, & Robert Loftin. (2014) Towards Cyber-Enhanced Working Dogs for Search and Rescue. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 1-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mis.2014.77  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:54 PM
  • 37 views

The impact of powered prosthetic failures on the user

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Prosthetics have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. With the ongoing wars in the middle east the need for better prosthetics technologies has become more apparent, to this end we now have prosthetics that will allow a person to "feel", we even have motorized prosthetics that will help allow a more fluid walk, but while powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. Because of this, new research examines exactly what happens when these technologies fail, with the goal of developing a new generation of more robust powered prostheses.... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:09 PM
  • 36 views

EPA Clean Power Plan Explained!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The EPA announced a plan to cut power plant emissions by 30% in about 15 years - get the details here!... Read more »

Fowlie, M., Goulder, L., Kotchen, M., Borenstein, S., Bushnell, J., Davis, L., Greenstone, M., Kolstad, C., Knittel, C., Stavins, R.... (2014) An economic perspective on the EPA's Clean Power Plan. Science, 346(6211), 815-816. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261349  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 40 views

Is depression an infectious disease?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Over the past several decades we have seen the advent of a number of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, but major depressive disorder remains one of the most common mood disorders in the United States; over 15% of the population will suffer from major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Despite extensive research into the etiology and treatment of depression, we haven't seen a mitigation of the impact depression has on our society. In fact, there have even been a lot of questions raised about the general effectiveness of the medications we most frequently prescribe to treat the disorder.This perceived lack of progress in reducing the burden of depression and the accompanying doubts about the adequacy of our current treatments for it have led some to rethink our approach to understanding the disorder. One hypothesis that has emerged from this attempted paradigmatic restructuring suggests that depression is more than just a mood disorder; it may also be a type of infectious disease. According to this perspective, depression may be caused by an infectious pathogen (e.g. virus, bacterium, etc.) that invades the human brain. Although it may sound far-fetched that a microorganism could be responsible for so drastically influencing behavior, it's not without precedent in nature.Microorganisms and brain functionPerhaps the best-known example of an infectious microorganism influencing brain activity is the effect the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can have on rodent behavior. A protozoan parasite, T. gondii lives and reproduces in the intestines of cats, and infected cats shed T. gondii embryos in their feces. T. gondii thrives in the feline intestinal tract, making that its desired environment. So, after being forced out of their comfy intestinal home, T. gondii embryos utilize what is known as an intermediate host to get back to into their ideal living environment.Enter rodents, the intermediate hosts, which have a habit of digging through dog and cat feces to find pieces of undigested food to eat. When rodents ingest feces infected with T. gondii, they themselves become infected with the parasite. Through a mechanism that is still not well understood, T. gondii is then thought to be able to manipulate the neurobiology of rodents to reduce their inherent fear of cats and their associated aversion to the smell of cat urine. While most rodents have an innate fear of cat urine, T. gondii-infected rodents seem to be more nonchalant about the odor. This hypothetically makes them less likely to avoid the places their natural predators frequent, and more likely to end up as a feline snack--a snack that would put T. gondii right back into the feline intestinal tract.This is only one example of microorganisms influencing brain function; there are many others throughout nature. Because some microorganisms appear to be capable of manipulating mammalian nervous systems for their own purposes, it's conceivable that they could do the same to humans. Indeed, studies in humans have found links between depression and infection with several different infectious agents.One example is a virus known as Borna disease virus (BDV). BDV was initially thought to only infect animals, but has more recently been found to infect humans as well. In animals, BDV can affect the brain, leading to behavioral and cognitive abnormalities along with complications like meningitis and encephalomyelitis. It is unclear whether BDV infection in humans results in clinically-apparent disease, but some contend that it may manifest as psychiatric problems like depression. A meta-analysis of 15 studies of BDV and depression found that people who are depressed are 3.25 times more likely to also to be infected by BDV. Although the relationship is still unclear and more research is needed, this may represent a possible link between infectious microorganisms and depression.Other infectious agents, such as herpes simplex virus-1 (responsible for cold sores), varicella zoster virus (chickenpox), and Epstein-Barr virus have all been found in multiple studies to be more common in depressed patients. There have even been links detected between T. gondii infection and depressed behavior in humans. For example, one study found depressed patients with a history of suicide attempts to have significantly higher levels of antibodies to T. gondii than patients without such a history.Additionally, a number of studies have found indications of an inflammatory response in the brains of depressed patients. The inflammatory response represents the efforts of the immune system to eliminate an invading pathogen. Thus, markers of inflammation in the brains of depressed patients may indicate the immune system was responding to an infectious microorganism while the patient was also suffering from depressive symptoms--providing at least a correlative link between infection and depression.Interestingly, a prolonged inflammatory response can promote "sickness behavior," which involves the display of traditional signs of illness like fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulty concentrating--which are symptoms of depression as well. It is also believed that a prolonged inflammatory response can lead to sickness behavior that then progresses to depression, even in patients with no history of the disorder. Thus, inflammation could serve as indication of an invasion by an infectious pathogen that is capable of bringing about the onset of depression, or it might represent the cause of depression itself.At this point, these associations between depression and infection are still hypothetical, and we don't know if there is a causal link between any pathogenic infection and depression. If there were, however, imagine how drastically treatment for depression could change. For, if we were able to identify infections that could lead to depression, then we might be able to assess risk and diagnose depression more objectively through methods like measuring antibody levels; we could treat depression the same way we treat infectious diseases: with vaccines, antibiotics, etc. Thus, this hypothesis seems worth investigating not only for its plausibility but also for the number of new viable treatment options that would be available if it were correct.Canli, T. (2014). Reconceptualizing major depressive disorder as an infectious disease Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1186/2045-5380-4-10... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 03:02 PM
  • 30 views

Injecting a Placebo to Run Faster!

by Craig Payne in Running Research Junkie

Injecting a Placebo to Run Faster!... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 01:58 PM
  • 41 views

Genome, Evolution, and Domestication of the Cat

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Even though most of my posts on MassGenomics concern human genetics and genomics, today I’d like to highlight a milestone in another species, one that many humans care fiercely about. This guy: Cat lovers, rejoice! This month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencs, Mike Montague, Wes Warren, and colleagues published the first complete […]... Read more »

Montague MJ, Li G, Gandolfi B, Khan R, Aken BL, Searle SM, Minx P, Hillier LW, Koboldt DC, Davis BW.... (2014) Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25385592  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 08:58 AM
  • 38 views

Termite Queen Clones Herself by Making Eggs Impervious to Sperm

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Even kings and queens that have six legs and live underground aren’t immune to royal machinations. In one Asian termite species, queens choose to shut their mates out of the picture when it’s time to breed a successor. They simply clone themselves to make new queens. To keep the king’s genes away, the queen makes […]The post Termite Queen Clones Herself by Making Eggs Impervious to Sperm appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Yashiro T, & Matsuura K. (2014) Termite queens close the sperm gates of eggs to switch from sexual to asexual reproduction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25404335  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 46 views

The “euphemism treadmill”: Is it African-American or Black?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s a constantly moving target. Just over a year ago, we wrote about this on-going question and cited a Gallup Poll saying 65% of Black Americans have no preference when it comes to labels used to describe their racial or ethnic group. The authors of today’s research article would disagree. They say there are consequences […]

Related posts:
Should we say Black or African-American? Latino or Hispanic?
Everyday racism: A comparison of African American and Asian American Women
Are you a White American? How Black is your network?


... Read more »

Hall, EV, Phillips, KW, & Townsend, SSM. (2014) A rose by any other name? The consequences of subtyping “African-Americans” from “Blacks”. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. . info:/

  • November 21, 2014
  • 05:58 AM
  • 39 views

Genomic instability not linked to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An eyebrow was raised upon reading the findings reported by Penelope Main and colleagues [1] concluding that: "it appears unlikely that genomic instability is a feature of the aetiology of autism." Based on results derived in part from "the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN-cyt) assay" [2] looking at markers of DNA damage, authors reported very little to see in their small cohort of children with autism (n=35) compared with siblings (n=27) and asymptomatic controls (n=25) although with the requirement for: "replication using a larger cohort"."Nah. I don't need one. I got a Donk".Of equal interest to this blog was the discovery that there was no significant difference in B vitamins - outside of vitamin B2 - nor homocysteine (the 'big H') levels across the study groups. As regular readers might already know, I've covered homocysteine a few times on this blog with autism in mind (see here for example). Indeed, this authorship group have talked around this topic previously (see here).Although no expert on the whys and wherefores of the CBMN-cyt assay outside of reading through the Fenech paper [2] and other material around the subject, I gather that this is quite a widely used method for measuring DNA damage covering: "(a) micronuclei (MNi), a biomarker of chromosome breakage and/or whole chromosome loss, (b) nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs), a biomarker of DNA misrepair and/or telomere end-fusions, and (c) nuclear buds (NBUDs), a biomarker of elimination of amplified DNA and/or DNA repair complexes".A quick trawl of the other research literature in this area reveals that this is not the first time that members of this group have looked at DNA damage with autism in mind as per another paper by Main and colleagues [3] (including Michael Fenech on the authorship list). On that occasion, lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from an even smaller group of children with autism and their asymptomatic siblings (N=6 pairs) were analysed for the possible presence of "increased DNA damage events" following artificial challenge to an oxidative stressor (hydrogen peroxide) among other things. They concluded: "(i) that LCLs from children with autism are more sensitive to necrosis under conditions of oxidative and nitrosative stress than their non-autistic siblings and (ii) refutes the hypothesis that children with autistic disorder are abnormally susceptible to DNA damage." The issue of oxidative stress and autism has been discussed quite a bit in the research literature (see here).I would tend to agree that this is still an area of autism research deserving of further investigations on the basis of that proposed oxidative stress link. I might be further showing my incompetence in this area of endeavour by also referring you back to the paper by Shuvarikov and colleagues [4] and their suggestion that HERV (human endogenous retrovirus) elements may: "mediate other recurrent deletion and duplication events on a genome-wide scale" on the basis of their findings in relation to particular types of de novo deletions including autism as part of the clinical presentation. HERVs are something I've been quite interested in for some time now, with autism (see here), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (see here) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) (see here) in mind. Other retrotransposons have also cropped up in more recent times too (see here). The relationship with DNA methylation taps into the rising star discipline that is epigenetics (see here) and potentially back to the reason why homocysteine was included in the most recent Main paper (see here for my lovely hand-drawn picture of the methylation cycle). Certainly with all the recent continued interest in de novo mutations potentially linked to autism [5] it strikes me that further scrutiny of this area is perhaps warranted.Music then... Emeli Sandé - Next To Me.----------[1] Main PA. et al. Lack of Evidence for Genomic Instability in Autistic Children as Measured by the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Cytome Assay. Autism Res. 2014 Nov 4. doi: 10.1002/aur.1428.[2] Fenech M. Cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay. Nat Protoc. 2007;2(5):1084-104.[3] Main PA. et al. Necrosis is increased in lymphoblastoid cell lines from children with autism compared with their non-autistic siblings under conditions of oxidative and nitrosative stress. Mutagenesis. 2013 Jul;28(4):475-84.[4] Shuvarikov A. et al. Recurrent HERV-H-mediated 3q13.2-q13.31 deletions cause a syndrome of hypotonia and motor, language, and cognitive delays. Hum Mutat. 2013 Oct;34(10):1415-23.[5] Iossifov I. et al. The contribution of de novo coding mutations to autism spectrum disorder. Nature. 2014 Oct 29. doi: 10.1038/nature13908.----------Main PA, Thomas P, Angley MT, Young R, Esterman A, King CE, & Fenech MF (2014). Lack of Evidence for Genomic Instability in Autistic Children as Measured by the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Cytome Assay. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research PMID: 25371234... Read more »

Main PA, Thomas P, Angley MT, Young R, Esterman A, King CE, & Fenech MF. (2014) Lack of Evidence for Genomic Instability in Autistic Children as Measured by the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Cytome Assay. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 25371234  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:41 AM
  • 37 views

Non-Sticky Nano Bullets Targeting Cancer

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Researchers describe the use of traceable nanoparticles constructed to specifically target tumors. These drug loaded nano particles could function as ‘intelligent’ bullets, leaving body in 72 hours.... Read more »

Phillips E, Penate-Medina O, Zanzonico PB, Carvajal RD, Mohan P, Ye Y, Humm J, Gönen M, Kalaigian H, Schöder H.... (2014) Clinical translation of an ultrasmall inorganic optical-PET imaging nanoparticle probe. Science translational medicine, 6(260). PMID: 25355699  

  • November 21, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 38 views

Can Low Back Pain in Young Athletes be Treated and Prevented?

by Adam Scott and Jan Bruins in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Increased training time in sports that require a forward lean posture can predispose young athletes to low back pain.... Read more »

  • November 20, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 52 views

Designing a better flu vaccine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We all hate getting sick and the seasonal flu vaccine can help prevent a time of serious illness. Unfortunately the vaccine is usually an educated guess as to which strains of the flu are going to be most prevalent that year. Well now an international team of researchers has shown that it may be possible to improve the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine by 'pre-empting' the evolution of the influenza virus.... Read more »

Fonville, J., Wilks, S., James, S., Fox, A., Ventresca, M., Aban, M., Xue, L., Jones, T., Le N. M. H., ., Pham Q. T., .... (2014) Antibody landscapes after influenza virus infection or vaccination. Science, 346(6212), 996-1000. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256427  

  • November 20, 2014
  • 11:49 AM
  • 46 views

Living Kidney Donor Consent Forms Don’t Make It Easy to Opt-Out

by Cristy at Living Donor 101 in Living Donors Are People Too

  These researchers’ abstract pretty much says it all (emphasis mine): Ethicists and guidelines have suggested that potential living kidney donors who withdraw from evaluation be offered an ‘alibi.’ We sought to determine what potential living kidney donors are told about their ability to opt out, alibi availability and postwithdrawal confidentiality. We reviewed 148 consent …
Continue reading »
The post Living Kidney Donor Consent Forms Don’t Make It Easy to Opt-Out appeared first on Living Donors Are People Too.
... Read more »

  • November 20, 2014
  • 05:30 AM
  • 63 views

Intestinal permeability: an emerging scientific area (also with autism in mind)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

What is the intestinal barrier? What is intestinal permeability? What factors affect the permeability of the intestinal barrier? How do you measure intestinal permeability? How might [altered] intestinal permeability link to health, well-being and various clinical diagnoses?The new triad @ Bischoff SC et al. 2014These are some of the questions tackled by the excellent open-access review by Stephan Bischoff and colleagues [1] which I would like to draw your attention to in today's ramblings.Regular readers of this blog might already know about my borderline obsession with the inner workings of the barrier that separates the contents of our deepest, darkest recesses from the rest of the body. That and the potentially very important triad that is: gut barrier, gut bacteria and gut immune function.I know the words 'leaky gut' still send shivers down the spines of quite a few people, particularly when mentioned in the context of autism or rather some of 'the autisms'. The NHS Choices website provides a very handy section called: "Why we should be sceptical about 'leaky gut syndrome'" further illustrating the contempt held against this area of science. But peer-reviewed science is peer-reviewed science and leaky gut is beginning to take a foothold in at least some autism research. Indeed, these past few weeks I've also seen quite a lot more positive discussion on the need for more research in this area with autism in mind (see here and see here and see here); real gut-brain science you might say.There's little more for more to say on this issue outside of perhaps providing you with a few additional selected links to where gut permeability has been discussed on this blog, and perhaps a few areas where quite a bit more autism-related research might be indicated...Autism and Sutterella (2012)Vitamin D and intestinal barrier integrity (2012)Leaky mice guts, bacteria and autism (2013)Does melatonin affect leaky gut? Relevance to autism (2013)Intestinal inflammation in the valproate mouse model of autism (2013)The gut and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (2014) Oh, and if you want my peer-reviewed views on this whole gut permeability and autism matter with another, often contentious topic in mind, look no further [2]...That'll do pig, that'll do. Aside that is, from another barrier [3] which might also require some further investigation with autism in mind...----------[1] Bischoff SC. et al. Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:189[2] Whiteley P. et al. Gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for autism spectrum conditions. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Jan 4;6:344.[3] Braniste V. et al. The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6: 263ra158----------Bischoff, S., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. (2014). Intestinal permeability - a new target for disease prevention and therapy BMC Gastroenterology, 14 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7... Read more »

Bischoff, S., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. (2014) Intestinal permeability - a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(1), 189. DOI: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7  

  • November 20, 2014
  • 12:05 AM
  • 61 views

To Remove or not to Remove? That is the Question When Dealing with CPR Emergencies in Football

by Daniel Wager and Erin Oliver in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Football shoulder pads create a barrier for a rescuer who has to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an athlete who is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Performing chest compressions under the shoulder pads, which increases compression depth, may be more effective in saving an SCA victim’s life.... Read more »

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