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  • January 31, 2016
  • 08:08 PM
  • 104 views

Zika Virus (ZIKV): similarities to other arboviruses

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Zika Virus (ZIKV) is an arbovirus belonging to the Flaviviridae transmitted primarily by mosquitoes (including Aedes Agypti). Although first identified in a resuscitate monkey from the forests in Uganda in the year 1947 with estimated first emergence probably in 1920, the first human case was only reported in 1964. ZIKV has been shown to be distributed Northern Africa as well as in Southeast Asia; however only a few human cases in Africa and Asia were identified until 2007, when a ZIKV outbreak ........ Read more »

Ioos S, Mallet HP, Leparc Goffart I, Gauthier V, Cardoso T, & Herida M. (2014) Current Zika virus epidemiology and recent epidemics. Medecine et maladies infectieuses, 44(7), 302-7. PMID: 25001879  

Gannage M, & Münz C. (2010) MHC presentation via autophagy and how viruses escape from it. Seminars in immunopathology, 32(4), 373-81. PMID: 20857294  

Bell TM, Field EJ, & Narang HK. (1971) Zika virus infection of the central nervous system of mice. Archiv fur die gesamte Virusforschung, 35(2), 183-93. PMID: 5002906  

Foy BD, Kobylinski KC, Chilson Foy JL, Blitvich BJ, Travassos da Rosa A, Haddow AD, Lanciotti RS, & Tesh RB. (2011) Probable non-vector-borne transmission of Zika virus, Colorado, USA. Emerging infectious diseases, 17(5), 880-2. PMID: 21529401  

Salvetti A, & Greco A. (2014) Viruses and the nucleolus: the fatal attraction. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1842(6), 840-7. PMID: 24378568  

Martín-Acebes MA, Blázquez AB, & Saiz JC. (2015) Reconciling West Nile virus with the autophagic pathway. Autophagy, 11(5), 861-4. PMID: 25946067  

  • January 31, 2016
  • 02:57 PM
  • 185 views

The brains of patients with schizophrenia vary depending on the type of schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

I have a friend who lost an eye to his brother. Yes, you read that correctly, his brother tried to kill him and in the process he lost his eye. I’ve told this story before, but whenever new schizophrenia research comes out I feel the need to tell it again. While he has forgiven his brother (partly because not long after, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic), he will not be able to see him again until he is released from prison. A tragedy that could’ve been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner......... Read more »

  • January 31, 2016
  • 07:47 AM
  • 116 views

Better method for faster learning of math

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Finger tracing can help school-going kids in learning mathematics better.

Published in:

Applied Cognitive Psychology

Learning and Instruction

Study Further:

Researchers from Sydney worked with 275 school-going children in the age range of 9 to 13 years. They found that tracing of mathematical points on fingers could help children in better understanding and solving the previously unknown problems of algebra and geometry. So, finger tracing of practice examples while........ Read more »

Ginns, P., Hu, F., Byrne, E., & Bobis, J. (2015) Learning By Tracing Worked Examples. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3171  

  • January 31, 2016
  • 07:09 AM
  • 112 views

Coal tar, dyes, and the unlikely origins of psychotherapeutic drugs

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged










While it may be difficult to imagine in a day and age when psychiatric medicines are advertised as a way to treat nearly every mental disorder, only 65 years ago targeted and effective psychiatric medicines were still just an unrealized aspiration. In fact, until the middle of the 20th century, the efficacy and safety of many common approaches to treating mental illness were highly questionable. For example, one method of treating schizophrenia that was common in the 1940s........ Read more »

López-Muñoz, F., Alamo, C., cuenca, E., Shen, W., Clervoy, P., & Rubio, G. (2005) History of the Discovery and Clinical Introduction of Chlorpromazine. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 17(3), 113-135. DOI: 10.1080/10401230591002002  

  • January 31, 2016
  • 07:06 AM
  • 114 views

Bad side of selfie and its posting on Instagram

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Selfie obsession can badly affect the relationship with partner.

Published in:

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Study Further:

“Selfie” is one of the latest things of our era. It is also amusing for many people. In a study, researchers from Florida State University were trying to find the effect and outcomes of selfies and their posting on Instagram. They surveyed 420 Instagram users in the age range of 18 years to 62 years.

Researchers f........ Read more »

  • January 30, 2016
  • 03:21 PM
  • 164 views

Neurological adaptations to the presence of toxic HIV protein

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nearly half of HIV infected patients suffer from impaired neurocognitive function. The HIV protein transactivator of transcription (Tat) is an important contributor to HIV neuropathogenesis because it is a potent neurotoxin that continues to be produced despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy.

... Read more »

  • January 30, 2016
  • 01:17 PM
  • 138 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (JAN 2016)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

The first post in the This Month in Blastocystis Research series in 2016 is about Blastocystis epidemiology in India (including IBS patients), views on treatment, and Blastocystis in non-human primates.... Read more »

Pandey PK, Verma P, Marathe N, Shetty S, Bavdekar A, Patole MS, Stensvold CR, & Shouche YS. (2015) Prevalence and subtype analysis of Blastocystis in healthy Indian individuals. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 296-9. PMID: 25701123  

Kurt Ö, Doğruman Al F, & Tanyüksel M. (2016) Eradication of Blastocystis in humans: Really necessary for all?. Parasitology international. PMID: 26780545  

  • January 30, 2016
  • 07:47 AM
  • 119 views

Suicide of a person can result in more suicides

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

A person’s suicide can increase the chances of suicide attempt of his or her family member or friend.

Published in:

BMJ Open

Study Further:

Suicide is one of the most harmful things in the life of people left behind. Researchers from the University College London found that people, who have faced the suicide of a family member or friend, have 65% more chances of attempting suicide as compared to those people, who have faced the sudden death of their loved ones du........ Read more »

  • January 30, 2016
  • 07:01 AM
  • 124 views

The Automatic Neuroscientist

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

We've learned this week that computers can play Go. But at least there's one human activity they will never master: neuroscience. A computer will never be a neuroscientist. Except... hang on. A new paper just out in Neuroimage describes something called The Automatic Neuroscientist. Oh.



So what is this new neuro-robot? According to its inventors, Romy Lorenz and colleagues of Imperial College London, it's a framework for using "real-time fMRI in combination with modern machine-learning te... Read more »

  • January 30, 2016
  • 04:00 AM
  • 135 views

Autism in phenylketonuria (PKU)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Autism has been reported in untreated patients with phenylketonuria."Indeed it has, as the paper by Sameh Khemir and colleagues [1] revisits something of a long known about association whereby the archetypal inborn error of metabolism that is phenylketonuria (PKU) has been linked to the presentation of autism or autistic traits [2].Looking at 18 participants diagnosed with PKU, Khemir et al "report their clinical, biochemical and molecular peculiarities" (authors words not mine) and h........ Read more »

Khemir S, Halayem S, Azzouz H, Siala H, Ferchichi M, Guedria A, Bedoui A, Abdelhak S, Messaoud T, Tebib N.... (2016) Autism in Phenylketonuria Patients: From Clinical Presentation to Molecular Defects. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 26759449  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 01:51 PM
  • 161 views

How to unlock inaccessible genes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

An international team of biologists has discovered how specialized enzymes remodel the extremely condensed genetic material in the nucleus of cells in order to control which genes can be used. It was known that the DNA in cells is wrapped around proteins in structures called nucleosomes that resemble beads on a string, which allow the genetic material to be folded and compacted into a structure called chromatin.

... Read more »

de Dieuleveult, M., Yen, K., Hmitou, I., Depaux, A., Boussouar, F., Dargham, D., Jounier, S., Humbertclaude, H., Ribierre, F., Baulard, C.... (2016) Genome-wide nucleosome specificity and function of chromatin remodellers in ES cells. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature16505  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 12:29 PM
  • 146 views

Lizards Overcome Lack of Mirrors to Find Rocks That Match Their Colors

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Think about the last time you stood squinting in front of a full-length mirror, trying to decide whether the colors in your outfit went together. Now imagine you're a reptile, and you wouldn't even understand a mirror if you saw one, but somehow you need to find a rock that matches your skin color. Otherwise you might get eaten by a bird today. Oh, and the skin color you need to match is on your back.

Certain lizards in Greece manage to pull this off every day, though how they do it is a ... Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 11:11 AM
  • 135 views

White light in street gives a feeling of safety

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Pedestrians feel safer while walking, if the streets are illuminated with white light.

Published in:

Safety Science

Study Further:

Researchers from the University of Granada surveyed 275 pedestrians in “nocturnal urban environment”, i.e. participants of the study were given a test after walking in illuminated streets in a city.

Researchers were trying to know the thoughts of pedestrians about different kinds of public lights on streets, i.e. color of lig........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 10:14 AM
  • 124 views

The fossils hidden in our genome: geneticists turn into archeologists ... sort of.

by EE Giorgi in CHIMERAS

I often blog about viruses because, well, I work on viruses. Here's a quick summary of things I've blogged about that I find absolutely mind-blowing:1. About 10% of the human genome is made of genes we inherited from viruses that had replicated in our ancestors millions of years ago. 2. Viruses evolve as their hosts evolve (The Red Queen Effect), and in fact we can retrace their evolution in parallel with that of their hosts. The same is true within a single host, enabling us to retrace the evol........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 08:39 AM
  • 137 views

The power of poop: revolutionizing wastewater treatment

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A commentary in Nature proposes a complete overhaul of how we treat our wastewater. Among the benefits would be new energy-producing industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!... Read more »

Li, W., Yu, H., & Rittmann, B. (2015) Chemistry: Reuse water pollutants. Nature, 528(7580), 29-31. DOI: 10.1038/528029a  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 08:36 AM
  • 157 views

Depression can easily pass down from a mother to her daughter

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Emotions can easily move down from mother to her daughter, i.e. daughters have more chances of getting from their mother a brain structure that is involved in emotion, especially depression.

Published in:

Journal of Neuroscience

Study Further:

Researchers from University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) studied the brains of 35 families by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They found that the corticolimbic system, a structure of the brain circuitry, can........ Read more »

Yamagata, B., Murayama, K., Black, J., Hancock, R., Mimura, M., Yang, T., Reiss, A., & Hoeft, F. (2016) Female-Specific Intergenerational Transmission Patterns of the Human Corticolimbic Circuitry. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(4), 1254-1260. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4974-14.2016  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 133 views

When terrified, liberals end up thinking a lot more like  conservatives

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s a basic tenet of the reptile theory that you want to frighten your jurors to make them vote for your client in deliberation. [The ABA has put out an open-access primer on the reptile theory and you can see that here.] It is also been shown repeatedly that conservatives are more fearful than liberals, […]

Related posts:
The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and conservatives differ
Are conservatives happier than liberals? Research says:  No.
Mean-spirited blog comments........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2016
  • 04:23 AM
  • 123 views

A role for dermatologists in diagnosing BHD earlier

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome was initially described as a heritable dermatological condition based on the presence of multiple fibrofolliculomas, trichodiscomas and acrochordons in a Canadian kindred (Birt et al., 1977). Now it is known that BHD patients can also develop pulmonary cysts, with an associated risk of pneumothorax, and bilateral, multifocal renal tumours. Due to the risk of tumour development it is important that patients are diagnosed early, enabling them to access regular ........ Read more »

Tellechea O, Cardoso JC, Reis JP, Ramos L, Gameiro AR, Coutinho I, & Baptista AP. (2015) Benign follicular tumors. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia, 90(6), 780-98. PMID: 26734858  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 03:54 AM
  • 68 views

How do people with Dark Triad personality traits fare at speed dating?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

People who score highly in the Dark Triad personality traits – narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism – are vain, selfish, callous and manipulative. They're not the kind of people you want to spend much time with. This raises the obvious question – to put it bluntly, why over evolutionary timescales haven't these people died out? One possibility is that their traits actually confer short-term advantages in the mating game. Dark Triad people are obnoxious once you get to know them, su........ Read more »

Jauk, E., Neubauer, A., Mairunteregger, T., Pemp, S., Sieber, K., & Rauthmann, J. (2016) How Alluring Are Dark Personalities? The Dark Triad and Attractiveness in Speed Dating. European Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1002/per.2040  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 02:56 AM
  • 144 views

Mortality and autism: comorbidity counts

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I don't enjoy talking about mortality and autism on this blog but once again I'm drawn to discuss this important topic based on some recent findings published by Diana Schendel and colleagues [1]. I say these are important findings on the basis of how researchers took into account the possible role played by psychiatric and neurological comorbidity occurring alongside autism when it comes to the quite alarming mortality statistics.Drawing on the findings reported in their paper and an interview ........ Read more »

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