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  • July 28, 2014
  • 07:45 AM
  • 11 views

Plastic bags responsible for outrageous lack of cute pink piglets

by Stephanie Swift in mmmbitesizescience

Most of us now subscribe to the idea that plastic bags are bad for the environment. Hence, droves of people turn up at their local supermarket with a sturdy jute bag in tow. Now, there’s evidence that the items that … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 28, 2014
  • 04:24 AM
  • 13 views

Prenatal and neonatal blood mercury levels and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Acknowledging that some topics have the ability to furrow brows when it comes to autism research, mercury and autism is becoming something of a frequent talking point on this blog as a function of a whole slew of articles appearing in the peer-reviewed domain. If I were to [very tentatively] summarise the collected literature so far, it would be to say something like:Mosaic of mercury @ Wikipedia (i) there is quite a bit more research to be done on some sources of mercury being 'l........ Read more »

Yau VM, Green PG, Alaimo CP, Yoshida CK, Lutsky M, Windham GC, Delorenze G, Kharrazi M, Grether JK, & Croen LA. (2014) Prenatal and neonatal peripheral blood mercury levels and autism spectrum disorders. Environmental research, 294-303. PMID: 24981828  

  • July 26, 2014
  • 01:18 PM
  • 71 views

Save the Neurons: Fighting the Effects of Parkinsons

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Possibly one of the most famous cases of parkinson’s is Michael J. Fox. More than just the “shakes” parkinson’s can cause a whole host of other problems mentally and physically […]... Read more »

  • July 25, 2014
  • 05:39 PM
  • 75 views

Small Things, Big Problem: Microplastics Uptake in Shore Crabs

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Lately I've been gearing up for some nano-particle research, and so I've been doing a lot of reading about very small things. While perusing the literature, I came across a paper published online in Environmental Science and Technology that takes a look at microplastics.Let’s start with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a very good example of this type of marine pollution. This huge collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean is created by an ocean gyre, a stable circular ocean curre........ Read more »

Watts AJ, Lewis C, Goodhead RM, Beckett SJ, Moger J, Tyler CR, & Galloway TS. (2014) Uptake and Retention of Microplastics by the Shore Crab Carcinus maenas. Environmental science . PMID: 24972075  

  • July 25, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 69 views

Fighting the Obesity Epidemic with X-box [No, not that one]

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite all the efforts, people are losing the war on obesity. There is probably a number of factors involved, genetics, underlying medical problems, most of all diet, but in any […]... Read more »

Williams KW, Liu T, Kong X, Fukuda M, Deng Y, Berglund ED, Deng Z, Gao Y, Liu T, Sohn JW.... (2014) Xbp1s in Pomc Neurons Connects ER Stress with Energy Balance and Glucose Homeostasis. Cell metabolism. PMID: 25017942  

  • July 25, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 86 views

The Friday Five 07/25/14

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Five of the coolest news stories from the past week... Read more »

  • July 25, 2014
  • 10:07 AM
  • 94 views

BHD causes pneumothoraces during childhood in rare cases

by Lizzie Perdeaux in BHD Research Blog

Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome is caused by inactivating mutations in the FLCN gene, characterised by skin lesions on the face and upper body; lung cysts and predisposition to pneumothorax; and kidney cancer. Although symptoms typically appear in the third and fourth decade … Continue reading →... Read more »

Johannesma PC, van den Borne BE, Gille JJ, Nagelkerke AF, van Waesberghe JT, Paul MA, van Moorselaar RJ, Menko FH, & Postmus PE. (2014) Spontaneous pneumothorax as indicator for Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome in paediatric patients. BMC pediatrics, 171. PMID: 24994497  

  • July 25, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 104 views

Some Bees Are Busier Than Others

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

It may be time to leave “busy as a bee” with other dubious animal similes like “happy as a clam” and “drunk as a skunk.” That’s because some bees, it turns out, aren’t all that busy. A small group of hive members do the bulk of the foraging, while their sisters relax at home. But […]The post Some Bees Are Busier Than Others appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • July 25, 2014
  • 03:29 AM
  • 143 views

p-cresol and autism: in need of further research

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These results confirm the elevation of urinary p-cresol in a sizable set of small autistic children and spur interest into biomarker roles for p-cresol and p-cresylsulfate in autism".The peasant dance @ Wikipedia That was the primary conclusion from the paper by Gabriele and colleagues [1] looking at "three components of urinary p-cresol, namely p-cresylsulfate, p-cresylglucuronate and free p-cresol" in samples from 33 participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)........ Read more »

Gabriele S, Sacco R, Cerullo S, Neri C, Urbani A, Tripi G, Malvy J, Barthelemy C, Bonnet-Brihault F, & Persico AM. (2014) Urinary p-cresol is elevated in young French children with autism spectrum disorder: a replication study. Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals, 1-8. PMID: 25010144  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 08:47 PM
  • 117 views

Know your brain: Meninges

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where are they?











Close-up view of the meninges surrounding the brain.






The term meninges comes from the Greek for "membrane" and refers to the three membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The membrane layers (discussed in detail below) from the outside in are the: dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia mater. Their positioning around the brain can be seen in the image to the right.What are they and what do they do?The brain is s........ Read more »

Patel, N., & Kirmi, O. (2009) Anatomy and Imaging of the Normal Meninges. Seminars in Ultrasound, CT and MRI, 30(6), 559-564. DOI: 10.1053/j.sult.2009.08.006  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 07:24 PM
  • 115 views

Salmon and Spinal Cod Regeneration, er… Cord

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Fish might not be the first thing you think about when we talk spinal cord injury but that is exactly what scientists are doing. Don’t ask where they got the […]... Read more »

  • July 24, 2014
  • 01:34 PM
  • 87 views

Background TV and Children don’t Mix

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Coming from a, to put it gently, very broken home, my babysitter was the television. Yep, so now that you are feeling nice and awkward let’s talk television. New research, […]... Read more »

Linebarger DL, Barr R, Lapierre MA, & Piotrowski JT. (2014) Associations Between Parenting, Media Use, Cumulative Risk, and Children's Executive Functioning. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 35(6), 367-77. PMID: 25007059  

Lapierre, M., Piotrowski, J., & Linebarger, D. (2012) Background Television in the Homes of US Children. PEDIATRICS, 130(5), 839-846. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2581  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2 views

FEELING THE HEAT: THE SCIENCE OF SUNBURN

by Amy Swanston in Antisense Science

No matter how careful we are, at some point in all of our lives we will develop sunburn. Despite all of the NHS campaigns and warnings that sun damage can cause skin cancer, many of us will know at least one person who forgoes using suncream and lets themselves bake in the sun in the quest for the perfect summer glow. But what is sunburn? And why is it so dangerous? First we need to take a look at our skin.... Read more »

Bernard JJ, Cowing-Zitron C, Nakatsuji T, Muehleisen B, Muto J, Borkowski AW, Martinez L, Greidinger EL, Yu BD, & Gallo RL. (2012) Ultraviolet radiation damages self noncoding RNA and is detected by TLR3. Nature medicine, 18(8), 1286-90. PMID: 22772463  

Lima-Bessa, K., & Menck, C. (2005) Skin Cancer: Lights on Genome Lesions. Current Biology, 15(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.12.056  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 11:45 AM
  • 68 views

July 24, 2014

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

How many times can you say the word “gonad” in a sentence without giggling? If the answer is one, then I congratulate you on turning thirteen. If the answer is many, then you must be a biologist. Biologists appreciate the value of a good gonad, and so should you. The gonad of the worm C. elegans serves as an important model in which to study tissue organization and development, as you’ll see in the paper that accompanies today’s image. At the end of cell division, cytokinesis typical........ Read more »

Amini, R., Goupil, E., Labella, S., Zetka, M., Maddox, A., Labbe, J., & Chartier, N. (2014) C. elegans Anillin proteins regulate intercellular bridge stability and germline syncytial organization. originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology, 206(1), 129-143. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201310117  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 04:14 AM
  • 102 views

Prenatal valproate exposure and brains

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Amanda Wood and colleagues [1] (open-access) makes a potentially very important contribution to the growing literature looking at how prenatal exposure to sodium valproate (VPA) may affect some children. Authors reported on: "regional structural cortical brain changes in humans exposed to VPA in utero" and specifically, increased cortical thickness in the left inferior frontal gyrus.Lightning and lava @ Oliver Spalt @ Wikipedia In case you need any background on the s........ Read more »

Wood, A., Chen, J., Barton, S., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Catroppa, C., Reutens, D., O'Brien, T., & Vajda, F. (2014) Altered cortical thickness following prenatal sodium valproate exposure. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. DOI: 10.1002/acn3.74  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 02:55 AM
  • 51 views

Quick, Somebody Get The Name Of That Shark!

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

There has been a rash of great white shark sightings and attacks in the news recently. But, have attacks and sightings remained constant, or are they really on the increase? Several news studies provide evidence that the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the ban on commercial whaling in 1982, and the ban on great white hunting in 1997 have increased the number of sharks on the coasts of the North America and Australia. In addition, great white sharks live much longer than previously assumed,........ Read more »

  • July 23, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 45 views

Video Tip of the Week: Nowomics, set up alert feeds for new data

by Mary in OpenHelix

Yeah, I know you know. There’s a lot of genomics and proteomics data coming out every day–some of it in the traditional publication route, but some of it isn’t–and it’s only getting harder and harder to wrangle the useful information to access the signal from the noise.  I can remember when merely looking through the […]... Read more »

Acland A., T. Barrett, J. Beck, D. A. Benson, C. Bollin, E. Bolton, S. H. Bryant, K. Canese, D. M. Church, & K. Clark. (2014) Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkt1146  

  • July 23, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 48 views

Let's Get Loud

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Loud noises are common in nature. New research is giving clues as to how and why animals make such noise. A new study investigates the reasons that howler monkeys howl. Protection and marking territory are main reasons, including for protection of infants or feeding areas.

A slightly older study notes that blue whale song has become lower in pitch since the whaling ban. The authors suggest that the reason for this may be that males don’t have to sing as loud (higher frequencies are loud........ Read more »

  • July 23, 2014
  • 05:00 AM
  • 72 views

Might you like a water mite named after you?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

In light of the new water mite named after pop star Jennifer Lopez, we take a funny look at other critters named after celebrities.... Read more »

  • July 23, 2014
  • 03:46 AM
  • 79 views

Trauma and PTSD raise risk of autoimmune disorders?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues [1] reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to open u........ Read more »

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