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  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:52 AM
  • 3 views

Blocking Serotonin Could Cure Obesity

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Blocking serotonin boosts the metabolism, inhibits fat storage and wards off obesity.... Read more »

  • April 1, 2015
  • 05:37 AM
  • 5 views

Gulf War agents and delayed onset of symptoms in mice

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was recently intrigued by the findings reported by Zuchra Zakirova and colleagues [1] (open-access) on what happened to mice following 'acute' exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and the pesticide permethrin (PER) in the context of these compounds being "key contributors to the etiology of GWI [Gulf War Illness] post deployment to the Persian GW [Gulf War]."I've covered the topic of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) before on this blog (see here) and how, foll........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:58 PM
  • 19 views

An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So for people wanting children it may be time to rethink that produce.... Read more »

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015) Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev064

Hagai Levine, & Shanna H. Swan. (2015) Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev065

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:23 PM
  • 20 views

Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, specifically when they are ovulating.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 05:45 AM
  • 20 views

African-Americans Receive Heart Transplants at Hospitals With Poor Performance Track Records

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

About five million people in the US suffer from heart failure, and approximately half of them die within five years of being diagnosed. Only about 2,500 hundred people a year receive a heart transplant – the treatment of last resort. A new heart can be life-saving, but it is also life-changing. Even under the best conditions, the surgery is complex, and recovery carries a heavy physical and emotional burden.
... Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:35 AM
  • 21 views

Is anhedonia a key component of depression comorbid to autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anhedonia: the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.Although by no means an expert on anhedonia (or much else), I believe that it is a concept quite important when it comes to making a diagnosis of depression although the precise hows and whys of connecting anhedonia to other symptoms are still the source of some discussion [1].The paper from Vicki Bitsika & Christopher Sharpley [2] brings the concepts of anhedonia and depression into v........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 08:27 PM
  • 31 views

Florida researchers find one in five college students may have misophonia – a hypersensitivity to sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Almost one in five college students are so sensitive to common, annoying sounds like lip smacking and pen clicking that they may have misophonia—a little-understood condition where people overreact to irritating noises. The results come from a University of South … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 05:42 PM
  • 32 views

Welcome to the wikipedia for neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While the brain might not have more connections than stars in the universe (sorry guys), it is still complex. In fact, someone I respect defined a neuroscientist as “someone who knows how little we know about the brain.” Despite the decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain, we still don’t know much. So to help scientists make sense of the vast amount of information we already collected, researchers used data mining to create neuroelectro.org,........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 38 views

Gut Feelings

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »

Ezenwa, V., Gerardo, N., Inouye, D., Medina, M., & Xavier, J. (2012) Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science, 338(6104), 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:25 AM
  • 29 views

One Parent,Two Parents and Child Well-Being

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The structure of the family in the United States and other countries is changing. This change has occurred over a relatively brief period of time. Data noted in the study I am reviewing today shows that between 1970 and 2013 in the U.S.:Percentage of children living with two parents dropped 24%Percentage of children living with a single mother increased to 23.7%Percentage of children living with a single father quadrupled to 4.1%Percentage of children living with a grandparent doubled to 6......... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 03:20 AM
  • 38 views

Asthma and ADHD (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthmatic children had a higher risk of also having ADHD."That was the conclusion reached by Kirsten Holmberg and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of rates of ADHD, and other variables found "through the Swedish Twin Register, linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the National Patient Register and the Prescribed Drug Register." Said data came from over 20,000 twins who's parents were questioned when children were aged 9 or 12 years.For those unfamiliar with the proposed conne........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 08:05 PM
  • 35 views

UK Researchers find parental perception of child’s weight is skewed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Childhood obesity affects more than double the amount of children it did 30 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). To figure out why the rate is increasing researchers studied the relationship between parents and their obese children to determine how to improve pediatric health. The study actually reveals how poorly parents rate their own child’s weight issues — at least until they reach extreme levels of obesity.... Read more »

Black et al. (2015) Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire. British Journal of General Practice. info:/10.3399/bjgp15X684385

  • March 29, 2015
  • 05:45 PM
  • 34 views

A novel method makes gene therapy safer

by Valerie Ashton in The Molecular Scribe

An international team of researchers have validated a method for identifying human insulator genes that dampen the over-activity of therapeutic genes delivered during gene therapy.... Read more »

Liu M, Maurano MT, Wang H, Qi H, Song CZ, Navas PA, Emery DW, Stamatoyannopoulos JA, & Stamatoyannopoulos G. (2015) Genomic discovery of potent chromatin insulators for human gene therapy. Nature biotechnology, 33(2), 198-203. PMID: 25580597  

  • March 29, 2015
  • 02:43 PM
  • 43 views

Biofuel, good for the environment if you’re eating less

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When the government first changed policy to require ethanol in gasoline, we were told it would reduce our carbon footprint. Then food prices rose significantly and corn in particular saw the largest price rise. This was because corn is a staple in production of almost any other food from eggs to beef, but the policy made environmental sense. Well it made sense, until you found out that the new government policy also took into account people eating less.... Read more »

Searchinger, T., Edwards, R., Mulligan, D., Heimlich, R., & Plevin, R. (2015) Do biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?. Science, 347(6229), 1420-1422. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261221  

  • March 29, 2015
  • 04:39 AM
  • 53 views

Sera from children with autism inducing autistic features in rats?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The autism sera injected rats demonstrated developmental delay and deficits in social communication, interaction, and novelty."That was one of the findings reported in the paper by Syed Faraz Kazim and colleagues [1] (open-access) who, among other things, injected intracerebroventricularly sera collected from children with autism into newborn rats and examined behavioural effects compared with injections of sera from asymptomatic controls. Actually, that was only one part of the resea........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2015
  • 01:46 PM
  • 63 views

Too much attention can be a deficit

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sometimes being too focused on a task is not a good thing. During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done. For example, let’s say you are coming out of a New York City subway one late afternoon and you want to find out which way is west. You might begin to scan street signs and then suddenly realize that you could just look for the setting sun.... Read more »

Nicolas W. Schuck, Robert Gaschler, Dorit Wenke, Jakob Heinzle, Peter A. Frensch, John-Dylan Haynes, & Carlo Reverberi. (2015) Medial Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Internally Driven Strategy Shifts. Neuron. info:/Link

  • March 28, 2015
  • 04:27 AM
  • 56 views

Screening for autism in preterm infants

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"A positive screen on the M-CHAT [Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers] occurs more commonly in very preterm infants than those born at term."So said the study by Peter Gray and colleagues [1] as the topic of preterm status - that is, babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy - potentially being linked to a greater risk of autism or at least, increased risk of screening positive for autism, crops up yet again on this blog (see here).Gray et al examined a cohort of children bo........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2015
  • 04:00 AM
  • 11 views

How to Protect Yourself from Sun Rays With An Umbrella

by Crystals and Catalysts in Crystals and Catalysts

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is an electromagnetic wave. It comes from the sun and travels to the surface of the Earth. While UVR is vital to human (it provides us with the essential vitamin, vitamin D), but it can also cause harm especially to the eye and skin such as burn, hyperpigmentation, photoaging skin, keratoconjunctivitis, stimulation of photodermatoses and cutaneous cancer.This is why we need different methods of protection from the harmful and potentially damaging sun rays. The types o........ Read more »

Vejakupta, K., & Udompataikul, M. (2014) Umbrella with Ultraviolet Radiation Protection. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 04(04), 228-233. DOI: 10.4236/jcdsa.2014.44031  

  • March 27, 2015
  • 12:42 PM
  • 60 views

Researchers find how body’s good fat talks to the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There are two types of fat we humans have — white and brown — unfortunately only one of them is “good fat” and it is unfortunately not the one we tend to produce. Well new research shows that brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we’ve lost.... Read more »

  • March 27, 2015
  • 12:19 PM
  • 55 views

Research on medical abortion/miscarriage may change international routines

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Two scientific studies are expected to form the basis of new international recommendations for the treatment of medical abortions and miscarriages. One of the studies shows that it is possible to replace the clinical follow-up examinations recommended today with medical abortions that include a home pregnancy test. The other study shows that midwives can safely and effectively treat failed abortions and miscarriages in rural districts of Uganda.... Read more »

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