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  • September 4, 2015
  • 02:28 PM

Common antidepressant may change brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A commonly prescribed antidepressant may alter brain structures in depressed and non-depressed individuals in very different ways, according to new research. The study – conducted in nonhuman primates with brain structures and functions similar to those of humans – found that the antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas........ Read more »

Willard, S., Uberseder, B., Clark, A., Daunais, J., Johnston, W., Neely, D., Massey, A., Williamson, J., Kraft, R., Bourland, J.... (2015) Long term sertraline effects on neural structures in depressed and nondepressed adult female nonhuman primates. Neuropharmacology, 369-378. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.06.011  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 11:59 AM

Bacteria from tobacco plant roots provide protection against sudden-wilt disease

by Betty Zou in Eat, Read, Science

A new study from the Max Planck Institute shows how root-associated bacteria can rescue plants from sudden-wilt disease. The authors conducted laboratory and field testing to show that treating seeds with a mixture of six native bacterial species significantly reduces plant mortality.... Read more »

Berendsen, R., Pieterse, C., & Bakker, P. (2012) The rhizosphere microbiome and plant health. Trends in Plant Science, 17(8), 478-486. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2012.04.001  

Santhanam R, Luu VT, Weinhold A, Goldberg J, Oh Y, & Baldwin IT. (2015) Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26305938  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 11:57 AM

It's Easy to Be Fearless When You Have a Good Shell

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Aesop never penned a fable about a snail. If he had written about a certain freshwater mollusk, the moral might have been Boldness comes from a strong shell or maybe Careless snails get chomped. But because the snail and its variable shell are real, their lesson has more to do with the the weird workings of evolution.

Individual Radix balthica snails can have differently shaped shells. They also have varying "personalities," at least as far as you can measure such a thing in a mollusk......... Read more »

Ahlgren J, Chapman BB, Nilsson PA, & Brönmark C. (2015) Individual boldness is linked to protective shell shape in aquatic snails. Biology letters, 11(4), 20150029. PMID: 25904320  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 06:08 AM

Everolimus for the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

mTOR is dysregulated in a range of tumour types and can be targeted with mTOR inhibitor treatments such as everolimus and sirolimus. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and sporadic lymphangioleiomyamatosis (LAM) result from mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 that disrupt mTOR signalling (Carsillo et al., 2000, Glasgow et al., 2010). The associated aberrant cell growth, survival and movement results in the formation of slow growing tumours in various tissues and pulmonary cyst formation with loss of pulmona........ Read more »

Goldberg HJ, Harari S, Cottin V, Rosas IO, Peters E, Biswal S, Cheng Y, Khindri S, Kovarik JM, Ma S.... (2015) Everolimus for the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis: a phase II study. The European respiratory journal, 46(3), 783-94. PMID: 26113676  

  • September 4, 2015
  • 05:00 AM

Brain glutathione and "ASD in intellectually able adult men"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to start:"[1H]MRS [proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy] measures of cortical and subcortical GSH [glutathione] are not a biomarker for ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in intellectually able adult men."So said the study published by Alice Durieux and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) based on the measurement of "GSH concentrations in the basal ganglia (BG) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of 21 normally intelligent adult males with ASD and 29........ Read more »

Durieux AM, Horder J, Mendez MA, Egerton A, Williams SC, Wilson CE, Spain D, Murphy C, Robertson D, Barker GJ.... (2015) Cortical and subcortical glutathione levels in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 26290215  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 04:01 PM

Fuels and fungi: A love story

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Fuels and fungi have a long-standing and intricate relationship. Before we get into the juicy details, let's examine the players.Traditionally speaking, a fuel is any organic substance (e.g. wood, coal, and oil) containing lots of stored chemical energy within the bonds holding its atoms together. This energy can be released via combustion, which we harness to move cars forward and generate electricity.Fungi are a huge group of organisms largely describable in terms of what they lack: locomotion........ Read more »

Haider R, Ghauri M, SanFilipo J, Jones E, Orem W, Tatu C, Akhtar K, & Akhtar N. (2013) Fungal degradation of coal as a pretreatment for methane production. Fuel, 717-725. DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2012.05.015  

Nicaud J. (2012) Yarrowia lipolytica. Yeast, 29(10), 409-418. DOI: 10.1002/yea.2921  

  • September 3, 2015
  • 02:06 PM

Do antipsychotic medications affect cortical thinning?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People diagnosed with schizophrenia critically rely upon treatment with antipsychotic medications to manage their symptoms and help them function at home and in the workplace. But despite their benefits, antipsychotic medications might also have some negative effects on brain structure or function when taken for long periods of time.... Read more »

  • 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 negativ........ Read more »

  • 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 ........ Read more »

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

  • 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
  • 08:15 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
  • 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........ 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
  • 03:07 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: "Despi........ Read more »

  • August 31, 2015
  • 04:09 PM

Sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate is a picky antidote

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate, a small sulfur-containing molecule with a propensity to give away its electrons (i.e. a strong reducing agent), has many names and many uses. One of its aliases, rongalite, comes from “rongeage", a French word meaning discharge. It refers to the industrial use of the molecule as a bleaching agent to remove colour from textiles (e.g. to create a white design on a dyed background) and other materials (e.g. to clear up discoloured sugar juice squeezed from plants)........ Read more »

Kotha S, & Khedkar P. (2012) Rongalite: A useful green reagent in organic synthesis. Chemical Reviews, 112(3), 1650-80. PMID: 22107104  

  • August 31, 2015
  • 02:24 PM

Television viewing linked to higher injury risk in hostile people

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.... Read more »

Fabio, A., Chen, C., Dearwater, S., Jacobs, D., Erickson, D., Matthews, K., Iribarren, C., Sidney, S., & Pereira, M. (2015) Television viewing and hostile personality trait increase the risk of injuries. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2015.1061560  

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