Countries that implement government-mandated vaccinations for chickenpox see a sharp drop in the number of Google searches for the common childhood disease afterward, demonstrating that immunization significantly reduces seasonal outbreaks. That's one of the findings from a new study that analyzed thousands of Google searches for "chickenpox."
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Bakker, K. M.,, Martinez-Bakker, M., Helm, B., & Stevenson, T. J. (2016) Digital epidemiology reveals global childhood disease seasonality and the effects of immunization . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/
Upon the induction of DNA damage, complex signaling pathways are activated that regulate the ability of cells to detect and repair the damage since both single and double strand DNA damage pose significant risk to cell survival and transmission of unrepaired DNA damage to progeny is associated not only with aging and cancer but also with neurodegenerative diseases. During the DNA damage response (DDR) ds and ss DNA breaks are recognised by ATM, ATR and DNA-PK kinases, which in turn activate sign........ Read more »
Kang TH, Park DY, Kim W, & Kim KT. (2008) VRK1 phosphorylates CREB and mediates CCND1 expression. Journal of cell science, 121(Pt 18), 3035-41. PMID: 18713830
Lopez-Sanchez, I., Sanz-Garcia, M., & Lazo, P. (2008) Plk3 Interacts with and Specifically Phosphorylates VRK1 in Ser342, a Downstream Target in a Pathway That Induces Golgi Fragmentation. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 29(5), 1189-1201. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.01341-08
Gonzaga-Jauregui C, Lotze T, Jamal L, Penney S, Campbell IM, Pehlivan D, Hunter JV, Woodbury SL, Raymond G, Adesina AM.... (2013) Mutations in VRK1 associated with complex motor and sensory axonal neuropathy plus microcephaly. JAMA neurology, 70(12), 1491-8. PMID: 24126608
Kang TH, Park DY, Choi YH, Kim KJ, Yoon HS, & Kim KT. (2007) Mitotic histone H3 phosphorylation by vaccinia-related kinase 1 in mammalian cells. Molecular and cellular biology, 27(24), 8533-46. PMID: 17938195
Salzano M, Sanz-García M, Monsalve DM, Moura DS, & Lazo PA. (2015) VRK1 chromatin kinase phosphorylates H2AX and is required for foci formation induced by DNA damage. Epigenetics, 10(5), 373-83. PMID: 25923214
Datan E, Roy SG, Germain G, Zali N, McLean JE, Golshan G, Harbajan S, Lockshin RA, & Zakeri Z. (2016) Dengue-induced autophagy, virus replication and protection from cell death require ER stress (PERK) pathway activation. Cell death . PMID: 26938301
Metz P, Chiramel A, Chatel-Chaix L, Alvisi G, Bankhead P, Mora-Rodriguez R, Long G, Hamacher-Brady A, Brady NR, & Bartenschlager R. (2015) Dengue Virus Inhibition of Autophagic Flux and Dependency of Viral Replication on Proteasomal Degradation of the Autophagy Receptor p62. Journal of virology, 89(15), 8026-41. PMID: 26018155
Joo, J., Wang, B., Frankel, E., Ge, L., Xu, L., Iyengar, R., Li-Harms, X., Wright, C., Shaw, T., Lindsten, T.... (2016) The Noncanonical Role of ULK/ATG1 in ER-to-Golgi Trafficking Is Essential for Cellular Homeostasis. Molecular Cell, 62(4), 491-506. DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2016.04.020
Eastern chimpanzees don't want to be judged. Image by Ikiwaner at Wikimedia.com.Whether they have one true love for life, multiple partners, or are free-loving, animals have many different mating systems. We have different scientific terms for these different mating systems, and most of these terms have very specific meanings. An animal is socially monogamous when it has one exclusive mating relationship, but maybe has sex with others outside of that relationship. It is sexually monogamous when ........ Read more »
Bacteria tend to smell. A classic example is the geosmin-producing Streptomyces species responsible for the nice earthy scent of freshly dug up soil. In general, though, bacteria have unpleasant odours. Just think of cheese, armpits, and poop. Lots of bacteria in or on all of those things. Some of the stinkiest bacteria are ones capable of infecting us. The distinctiveness of their disgusting bouquets may provide a means of identifying them. Hippocrates apparently diagnosed tuberculosis (caused ........ Read more »
Rao K, Berland D, Young C, Walk ST, & Newton DW. (2013) The nose knows not: Poor predictive value of stool sample odor for detection of Clostridium difficile. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 56(4), 615-616. PMID: 23166192
You may have seen headlines such as: Florida Man Woke Up In A Motel Room Speaking Only Swedish. Or: Englishman wakes up speaking Welsh after stroke (“Rare brain disorder left English-speaking Alun Morgan only able to communicate in Welsh”). The first case was likely due to a fugue state, a type of dissociative disorder involving loss of personal identity and aimless wandering (Stengel, 1941). The second seems like an unusual example of bilingual aphasia involving loss of the ability to spea........ Read more »
Beschin, N., de Bruin, A., & Della Sala, S. (2016) Compulsive foreign language syndrome: A clinical observation not a mystery. Cortex. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.04.020
"This study supports the hypothesis that environmental exposure to organic pollutants may play a significant role in the behavioral presentation of autism."Accepting that correlation is not the same as causation, the results published by Andrew Boggess and colleagues  (open-access here) make for some blogging fodder today and the idea that serum levels of various compounds headed under the description of organic pollutants (persistent or otherwise) might show some important connecti........ Read more »
Boggess A, Faber S, Kern J, & Kingston HM. (2016) Mean serum-level of common organic pollutants is predictive of behavioral severity in children with autism spectrum disorders. Scientific reports, 26185. PMID: 27174041
New research explains why healthcare costs are running out of control, while costs to unemployment protection are kept in line. The answer is found deep in our psychology, where powerful intuitions lead us to view illness as the result of bad luck and worthy of help.
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Jensen, C., & Petersen, M. (2016) The Deservingness Heuristic and the Politics of Health Care. American Journal of Political Science. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12251
A team of scientists have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness. This is the first time that imaging data has been used to show that our brains may have the ability to reverse the effects of schizophrenia.
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Guo, S., Palaniyappan, L., Liddle, P., & Feng, J. (2016) Dynamic cerebral reorganization in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: a MRI-derived cortical thickness study. Psychological Medicine, 1-14. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291716000994
Have you read this sentence before? Perhaps it feels strangely familiar? The experience of déjà vu is a common one, but in rare cases, it can become a disorder. In a fascinating new Cortex paper, French psychologists Julie Bertrand and colleagues discuss the phenomenon of pathological déjà vu.
Bertrand et al. present an English translation of what is probably the first description of the condition, published in 1896 in French by the psychiatrist Francois-Léon Arnaud (1858-1927).
Ar... Read more »
Bertrand JM, Martinon LM, Souchay C, & Moulin CJ. (2016) History repeating itself: Arnaud's case of pathological déjà vu. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior. PMID: 27188828
It's another research mash-up today as I bring to your attention two papers talking about potential correlates associated with psychosis and/or psychotic symptoms.First up are the findings reported by Joanne Newbury and colleagues  (open-access here) who observed that urban residency and certain factors associated with urban residency might link into a higher risk of childhood psychotic symptoms. A second paper by Tomasz Pawełczyk and colleagues  provides some further food for thought and........ Read more »
Pawełczyk, T., Trafalska, E., Kotlicka-Antczak, M., & Pawełczyk, A. (2016) The association between polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption and the transition to psychosis in ultra-high risk individuals. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), 30-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.plefa.2016.03.010
Newbury J, Arseneault L, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Odgers CL, & Fisher HL. (2016) Why are Children in Urban Neighborhoods at Increased Risk for Psychotic Symptoms? Findings From a UK Longitudinal Cohort Study. Schizophrenia bulletin. PMID: 27153864
Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. It's a good thing, for example, that we can find our way home on "autopilot" or wash our hands without having to ponder every step. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders.
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Christina M. Gremel,, Jessica H. Chancey,, Brady K. Atwood,, Guoxiang Luo,, Rachael Neve,, Charu Ramakrishnan,, Karl Deisseroth,, David M. Lovinger, & Rui M. Costa. (2016) Endocannabinoid Modulation of Orbitostriatal Circuits Gates Habit Formation. Neuron. info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.04.043
Dynamic positioning of lysosomes in the cytoplasm plays an important role in their function and is, in part, regulated by cellular nutrient status. The FLCN/FNIP complex is known to be active on the lysosome surface, where it interacts with Rag GTPases, supports the nutrient‐dependent recruitment and activation of mTORC1, and regulates the localisation of lysosome associated transcription factors (Petit et al., 2013; Tsun et al., 2013). New research from Starling et al. (2016) now shows that f........ Read more »
Starling GP, Yip YY, Sanger A, Morton PE, Eden ER, & Dodding MP. (2016) Folliculin directs the formation of a Rab34-RILP complex to control the nutrient-dependent dynamic distribution of lysosomes. EMBO reports. PMID: 27113757
Performing the discrete mode of presentation test strongly enhances the salience of the relevant variable, perimeter, and somewhat decreases that of area. This enhancement supports appropriate solution strategies that lead to improved performance. This effect is robust and transfers to continuous mode of presentation for at least 10 days. In line with this conclusion, a student who performed the continuous test after the discrete one commented that, “It [continuous] was harder this time bu........ Read more »
Babai, R., Nattiv, L., & Stavy, R. (2016) Comparison of perimeters: improving students’ performance by increasing the salience of the relevant variable. ZDM, 48(3), 367-378. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-016-0766-z
The topic prevention of brain disorders is commonly neglected. This is despite increasing evidence for evidence-based support for prevention opportunities.This issue is highlighted in a recent study out of Finland that examined prenatal nicotine metabolite levels and offspring diagnosis of schizophrenia.In this study, Solja Niemela and the Finnish research team examined all live births in Finland between 1983 and 1998.What makes this study powerful is the measurement of maternal serum coti........ Read more »
Niemelä, S., Sourander, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., McKeague, I., Cheslack-Postava, K., & Brown, A. (2016) Prenatal Nicotine Exposure and Risk of Schizophrenia Among Offspring in a National Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15060800
Talati A, Bao Y, Kaufman J, Shen L, Schaefer CA, & Brown AS. (2013) Maternal smoking during pregnancy and bipolar disorder in offspring. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(10), 1178-85. PMID: 24084820
I know that I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record on the topic of wandering (elopement) and autism on this blog (see here and see here and see here) but I am yet again going to briefly talk about peer-reviewed research in this area simply because it's just too damned important not to.This time around the results from Catherine Rice and colleagues  are the source of my musings and the conclusion that: "wandering among children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], regard........ Read more »
Rice, C., Zablotsky, B., Avila, R., Colpe, L., Schieve, L., Pringle, B., & Blumberg, S. (2016) Reported Wandering Behavior among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disability. The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.03.047
I discuss how global warming may affect the reproductive success of male lions.... Read more »
West PM, & Packer C. (2002) Sexual selection, temperature, and the lion's mane. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5585), 1339-43. PMID: 12193785
by Piter Kehoma Boll Males and females are defined by their gametes. Males have tiny, usually mobile gametes, while females have very large gametes that usually do not move. This means that females produce less gametes, but put a lot … Continue reading →... Read more »
Córdoba-Aguilar, A., Vrech, D., Rivas, M., Nava-Bolaños, A., González-Tokman, D., & González-Soriano, E. (2014) Allometry of Male Grasping Apparatus in Odonates Does Not Suggest Physical Coercion of Females. Journal of Insect Behavior, 28(1), 15-25. DOI: 10.1007/s10905-014-9477-x
Did you know that there may be bits of your own body that you don't own? That may be owned by someone else? No?? Then you need to know more about Gene Patenting...... Read more »
Rosenfeld, J., & Mason, C. (2013) Pervasive sequence patents cover the entire human genome. Genome Medicine, 5(3), 27. DOI: 10.1186/gm431
Liddicoat J, Whitton T, & Nicol D. (2015) Are the gene-patent storm clouds dissipating? A global snapshot. Nature biotechnology, 33(4), 347-52. PMID: 25850055
AG McCluskey. (2016) Patent-ly Obvious..?. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/
Like it or not: Our discipline is very much dominated by positivism and the application of the scientific method, which assumes that new knowledge can be created by developing and testing theory or, in other words, by induction or deduction. Another type of inference is abduction. Spens & Kovács (2006) present an overview of the […]... Read more »
Spens, K., & Kovács, G. (2006) A Content Analysis of Research Approaches in Logistics Research. International Journal of Physical Distribution , 36(5), 374-390. DOI: 10.1108/09600030610676259
An investigational app and online program to reduce alcohol intake is now available free to the public.This tool is an application of cognitive bias modification. A link to a study supporting cognitive bias modification is noted in the citation below. Click on the PMID link to get to the abstract.The program uses a 15 minutes per day tool for four days.The program was developed at the London School of Economics by Professor Paul Dolan.Users who sign up to use the tool will be providing data to f........ Read more »
Gladwin TE, Rinck M, Eberl C, Becker ES, Lindenmeyer J, & Wiers RW. (2015) Mediation of cognitive bias modification for alcohol addiction via stimulus-specific alcohol avoidance association. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, 39(1), 101-7. PMID: 25623410
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