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  • August 27, 2014
  • 08:25 AM
  • 3 views

Let’s Chew The Fat

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

If vegetables are low fat, how can we make cooking oils from them? The key is that vegetable oils aren’t really vegetable oils- they’re fruit oils. In some plant fruits, the fats are sued to entice animals to eat them and disperse seeds. In other, the fats are used to provide energy for the embryonic plants. New research is showing that some plant oils have unique uses. A 2014 study shows that avocado oil is as good or better at stabilizing biochemical markers in patients with metabo........ Read more »

Carvajal-Zarrabal O, Nolasco-Hipolito C, Aguilar-Uscanga MG, Melo Santiesteban G, Hayward-Jones PM, & Barradas-Dermitz DM. (2014) Effect of dietary intake of avocado oil and olive oil on biochemical markers of liver function in sucrose-fed rats. BioMed research international, 595479. PMID: 24860825  

  • August 27, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 13 views

Prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to start today's post: "Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children". That was a primary finding reported by Hanan El Marroun and colleagues [1] who looked at whether maternal depressive symptoms or a class of quite commonly used pharmaceutics - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - used to manage depressive symptoms, during pregnancy might impact on offspring development."Everything the light touches is our kingd........ Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 02:50 PM
  • 21 views

August 26, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

If you have little ones in your house, you might assume that the phrase “randomly fluctuating forces” is referring to your home. This phrase actually refers to the background force in a cell coming from active and motor-driven cell processes. Today’s image is from a study that developed a way to measure these forces. Actin- and microtubule-based motors move many types of material around a cell to drive critical cellular events. These motor-driven movements and other active processe........ Read more »

Guo, M., Ehrlicher, A., Jensen, M., Renz, M., Moore, J., Goldman, R., Lippincott-Schwartz, J., Mackintosh, F., & Weitz, D. (2014) Probing the Stochastic, Motor-Driven Properties of the Cytoplasm Using Force Spectrum Microscopy. Cell, 158(4), 822-832. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.051  

  • August 26, 2014
  • 12:09 PM
  • 17 views

For These Bats, the Best Falsetto Wins Over the Ladies

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

A bat’s voice is its livelihood. Chirping and squeaking at just the right frequencies lets it echolocate food and stay alive. Sounding pretty isn’t the point—except when it is. For the first time, scientists think they’ve found a bat species in which females choose mates based on their voices. Even if a lower-frequency squeak might […]The post For These Bats, the Best Falsetto Wins Over the Ladies appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 42 views

Brian Hooker's Hooked Hoax: Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

10 years after the initial study by DeStefano et al. (2004) was conducted, famous anti-vaccine alarmist Brian Hooker, along with Andrew Wakefield, are talking about a "whistleblower" in the CDC claiming that the original data was fraudulent, and was masking a 336% increased risk in ASD in African American boys receiving the MMR vaccine "on time." Did Hooker prove anything in his new study, however? Only that he doesn't understand epidemiology or statistics.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 03:55 AM
  • 41 views

76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Autism is not normally a stand-alone diagnosis. I've mentioned that point a few times on this blog, stressing how a clinical diagnosis of autism appears to increase the risk of various other behavioural, psychiatric and somatic diagnoses also [variably] being present over a lifetime. Part of that comorbidity has been talked about in discussions about ESSENCE (see here) and the excellent document produced by Treating Autism on medical comorbidities occurring alongside autism (see here) for exampl........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 07:13 PM
  • 42 views

Zombie Ant Fungi knows it’s prey

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

So awhile back I was bored and to kill some time wisely I wrote this little bit on real life (sometime potential) zombies. It featured a special section on a particular group of fungi that created some really crazy zombie ants. Ants, which would do the bidding of the fungus, would eventually latch itself in a “death bite” and sprout the parasite from its head. Yeah I know, not a pleasant death. In any case new research is showing just how cool — and evidently smart — these fungi really a........ Read more »

de Bekker C, Quevillon LE, Smith PB, Fleming KR, Ghosh D, Patterson AD, & Hughes DP. (2014) Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite. BMC evolutionary biology, 14(1), 166. PMID: 25085339  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 02:56 PM
  • 36 views

Coronavirus proteases, p62/SQSTM1, and Deubiquitinases

by theloenvirologist in Virology Tidbits

Ubiquitin is a small protein of 9kDa inside present in all eukaryotic cells and involved in the degradation of proteins by covalently binding target proteins which requires different enzymes, the E1 activating enzyme, the E2 conjugation enzymes, and the E3 ubiquitin ligase. Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) can reverse the ubiquitination of substrates thus preventing the degradation of proteins and can be classified into two main classes, cysteine proteases and metalloproteases. Here the role of t........ Read more »

van Kasteren PB, Bailey-Elkin BA, James TW, Ninaber DK, Beugeling C, Khajehpour M, Snijder EJ, Mark BL, & Kikkert M. (2013) Deubiquitinase function of arterivirus papain-like protease 2 suppresses the innate immune response in infected host cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(9). PMID: 23401522  

Ratia K, Saikatendu KS, Santarsiero BD, Barretto N, Baker SC, Stevens RC, & Mesecar AD. (2006) Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus papain-like protease: structure of a viral deubiquitinating enzyme. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(15), 5717-22. PMID: 16581910  

Clementz MA, Chen Z, Banach BS, Wang Y, Sun L, Ratia K, Baez-Santos YM, Wang J, Takayama J, Ghosh AK.... (2010) Deubiquitinating and interferon antagonism activities of coronavirus papain-like proteases. Journal of virology, 84(9), 4619-29. PMID: 20181693  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 11:11 AM
  • 36 views

E-cigs Aren't Safe

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Vaping through e-cigs brings out the harms in components of nicotine that are considered nanoparticles that can clog the smaller airways in our lungs.... Read more »

Grana, R., Benowitz, N., & Glantz, S. (2014) E-Cigarettes: A Scientific Review. Circulation, 129(19), 1972-1986. DOI: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.114.007667  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 08:28 AM
  • 77 views

Chinese Food And The One Hour Dilemma

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Everyone thinks they have the answer to why you get hungry soon after eating a plate of Chinese food, but it may be more complex than a simple answer. Some people blame MSG, others say it is the higher glycemic index of rice and noodles, while others claim it is the low fat, low protein aspects of Chinese food. New studies shows that MSG, high glycemic index foods and vegetable protein diets do not alter satiety and hunger hormone levels as compared to other meal types. It may be that the satiet........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 07:00 AM
  • 45 views

The Curious Case of a Protein and a Pilus

by Moselio Schaechter in Small Things Considered

by Monika Buczek | If you’re like me, every morning you reluctantly roll out of bed and automatically reach for your toothbrush. One of the earliest learned practices of personal hygiene, brushing surely serves more than just preventing daybreak halitosis- but have you ever pondered about the plaque you try to dislodge from your…... Read more »

Reardon-Robinson ME, Wu C, Mishra A, Chang C, Bier N, Das A, & Ton-That H. (2014) Pilus hijacking by a bacterial coaggregation factor critical for oral biofilm development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(10), 3835-40. PMID: 24567409  

  • August 25, 2014
  • 04:40 AM
  • 52 views

mTOR-regulated autophagy and autism mouse models

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued to read the paper by Guomei Tang and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their assertion that: "mTOR [mammalian target of rapamycin]-regulated autophagy is required for developmental spine pruning, and activation of neuronal autophagy corrects synaptic pathology and social behavior deficits in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] models with hyperactivated mTOR"."Re-verify our range to target... one ping only".If that opening paragraph sounds like scientific gibberish,........ Read more »

Tang, G., Gudsnuk, K., Kuo, S., Cotrina, M., Rosoklija, G., Sosunov, A., Sonders, M., Kanter, E., Castagna, C., Yamamoto, A.... (2014) Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.040  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 03:06 PM
  • 71 views

Correcting the Critics of Nicholas Wade & MAOA

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Geneticists are not the leading experts on behavioral genetics, and they and other critics have made numerous errors and misjudgments about Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance, as well as MAOA or warrior gene research.... Read more »

Bevilacqua L, Doly S, Kaprio J, Yuan Q, Tikkanen R, Paunio T, Zhou Z, Wedenoja J, Maroteaux L, Diaz S.... (2010) A population-specific HTR2B stop codon predisposes to severe impulsivity. Nature, 468(7327), 1061-6. PMID: 21179162  

Cases O, Seif I, Grimsby J, Gaspar P, Chen K, Pournin S, Müller U, Aguet M, Babinet C, & Shih JC. (1995) Aggressive behavior and altered amounts of brain serotonin and norepinephrine in mice lacking MAOA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 268(5218), 1763-6. PMID: 7792602  

Tuinier S, Verhoeven WMA, Scherders MJWT, Fekkes D, & Pepplinkhuizen L. (1995) Neuropsychiatric and biological characteristics of X-linked MAO-A deficiency syndrome. A single case intervention study. New Trends in Experimental and Clinical Psychiatry, 99-107. info:/

Zhu B, Chen C, Moyzis R, Dong Q, Chen C, He Q, Li J, Lei X, & Lin C. (2012) Association between the HTR2B gene and the personality trait of fun seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(8), 1029-1033. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.026  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 53 views

mTOR and the Cause of Autism

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Autism is a hot topic, lets face it, the increase in prevalence has started to cause a panic in some people. That fear is what the anti-vaccination movement is hoping […]... Read more »

Tang, G., Gudsnuk, K., Kuo, S., Cotrina, M., Rosoklija, G., Sosunov, A., Sonders, M., Kanter, E., Castagna, C., Yamamoto, A.... (2014) Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.040  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 55 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2014)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

August 2014 saw interesting data emerging on Blastocystis in the background population, mRNA polyadnylation in the Blastocystis nuclear genome which calls for genome reannotation, and a large focus on Blastocystis in the ICOPA 2014 Congress in Mexico City.... Read more »

Fayer R, Elsasser T, Gould R, Solano G, Urban J Jr, & Santin M. (2014) Blastocystis tropism in the pig intestine. Parasitology research, 113(4), 1465-72. PMID: 24535732  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 08:12 AM
  • 46 views

Could Lizards Teach Us The Secret Of Regeneration?

by JB Sheppard in Antisense Science

New research into the mechanism of tail regrowth in some lizard species, could be good news for the field of regenerative medicine. Several conserved pathways between humans and lizards could be exploited for better autologous transplantation in years to come. ... Read more »

  • August 23, 2014
  • 03:04 PM
  • 85 views

Pseudoscience And Ad Hominems: Is Religion a Mental Illness?

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Many anti-theists claim that religion is a mental illness or a mental disorder, sometimes linking it to schizophrenia, and thus state it should be treated as such. Is it, though? Claiming that religion is a mental disorder does nothing for productive discussion in the fields of theology and philosophy, and is simply incorrect. In this post, I examine the arguments made by proponents of this hypothesis and rebut them, citing the DSM-V and relevant scientific literature.... Read more »

Siddle, R., Haddock, G., Tarrier, N., & Faragher, E. (2014) Religious delusions in patients admitted to hospital with schizophrenia. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37(3), 130-138. DOI: 10.1007/s001270200005  

  • August 23, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 58 views

You heard me right... autism prevalence and meat consumption

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence". The paper by Wojciech & Ewa Pisula [1] (open-access) does indeed suggest that there may "a correlation between increasing meat consumption and autism prevalence"."Goonies never say die!"Readers are invited to draw their own conclusions on such a correlation. Personally, I'm not yet convinced that meat consumption is the primary driving force ........ Read more »

Wojciech Pisula, & Ewa Pisula. (2014) Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Medical Hypotheses. info:/10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.007

  • August 23, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 56 views

An end to Finger Pricking for Diabetics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

About 10% of the US is diabetic, that doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize how many people there are in the US (roughly 311 million and counting). Think about it like this, every 7 seconds (roughly) a child is born. With that statistic every minute and 10 seconds leads to another person with diabetes. By the time you finish reading this, about two people in the US will be diagnosed with diabetes.[…]... Read more »

Liakat S, Bors KA, Xu L, Woods CM, Doyle J, & Gmachl CF. (2014) Noninvasive in vivo glucose sensing on human subjects using mid-infrared light. Biomedical optics express, 5(7), 2397-404. PMID: 25071973  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 61 views

Global Warming Denial: Common Arguments and Misconceptions

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

An informal collection of common arguments and misconceptions by global warming denialists, as well as my rebuttals. Uses relevant data from IPCC, NOAA, NASA and peer-reviewed literature. Its purpose serves to inform the general public about these false claims so that we can escape this bout with pseudoscience a bit faster.... Read more »

Mann, M., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R., Hughes, M., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., & Ni, F. (2009) Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science, 326(5957), 1256-1260. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177303  

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