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  • July 22, 2014
  • 04:32 AM
  • 1 view

Common variation and the genetics of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Trent Gaugler and colleagues [1] reporting that the genetic architecture of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) seems in the most part to be due to "common variation" over and above "rare variants or spontaneous glitches" adds to the quite voluminous literature in this area.Everything in proportion? @ Wikipedia Based on an analysis of "a unique epidemiological sample from Sweden" researchers looked at DNA variations in some 3000 individuals with autism and asymptomatic co........ Read more »

Gaugler T, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Bodea CA, Goldberg AP, Lee AB, Mahajan M, Manaa D, Pawitan Y, Reichert J.... (2014) Most genetic risk for autism resides with common variation. Nature genetics. PMID: 25038753  

  • July 21, 2014
  • 03:24 AM
  • 15 views

Autism and asthma yet again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthma is approximately 35 % more common in autistic children".Pipe down @ Wikipedia That was the finding reported by Stanley Kotey and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) dataset, a resource looking at "the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years of age" resident in the United States. I don't intend to dwell too much on the Kotey findings aside from pointing out: (a) the reported prevalence of autism ca........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2014
  • 03:24 AM
  • 14 views

Autism and asthma yet again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Asthma is approximately 35 % more common in autistic children".Pipe down @ Wikipedia That was the finding reported by Stanley Kotey and colleagues [1] based on their analysis of the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) dataset, a resource looking at "the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years of age" resident in the United States. I don't intend to dwell too much on the Kotey findings aside from pointing out: (a) the reported prevalence of autism ca........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2014
  • 09:13 PM
  • 12 views

Parasite Cures Cancer

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

A parasite commonly found in the intestines of cats turns out to be an immune system boost against cancer!... Read more »

  • July 20, 2014
  • 05:39 PM
  • 24 views

Bacterial CRISPRs: Not Just For Targeting Foreign Nucleic Acids

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

In recent years, CRISPRs (Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats) have been gaining popularity in the microbiology field. Briefly, CRISPRs serve as an adaptive immune system for bacteria, meaning that they are able to remember what viruses (bacteriophages) or other entities have infected them and mount a targeted defensive response the next time they are infected with the same entity (think of it as an analog to our adaptive immune response which uses antibodies and other a........ Read more »

Wiedenheft B, Sternberg SH, & Doudna JA. (2012) RNA-guided genetic silencing systems in bacteria and archaea. Nature, 482(7385), 331-8. PMID: 22337052  

Sampson TR, Napier BA, Schroeder MR, Louwen R, Zhao J, Chin CY, Ratner HK, Llewellyn AC, Jones CL, Laroui H.... (2014) A CRISPR-Cas system enhances envelope integrity mediating antibiotic resistance and inflammasome evasion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25024199  

  • July 20, 2014
  • 11:33 AM
  • 25 views

Antiretrovirals and Pregnancy Risk

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Don’t drink when you are pregnant, we all know that you aren’t supposed to do that. We also know you shouldn’t smoke, use drugs, and should talk to your Doctor […]... Read more »

Mugo NR, Hong T, Celum C, Donnell D, Bukusi EA, John-Stewart G, Wangisi J, Were E, Heffron R, Matthews LT.... (2014) Pregnancy Incidence and Outcomes Among Women Receiving Preexposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 312(4), 362-371. PMID: 25038355  

  • July 20, 2014
  • 11:21 AM
  • 10 views

Slowing Heart Disease

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Stopping just one minor enzyme leads to an entire cascade of pathways that can slow heart disease.... Read more »

Blazevic T, Schwaiberger AV, Schreiner CE, Schachner D, Schaible AM, Grojer CS, Atanasov AG, Werz O, Dirsch VM, & Heiss EH. (2013) 12/15-lipoxygenase contributes to platelet-derived growth factor-induced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. The Journal of biological chemistry, 288(49), 35592-603. PMID: 24165129  

  • July 20, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 47 views

Time-lapse video of developing depression and trichotillomania

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

this young woman took 2100 over 6.5 years. You watch Rebecca as a young 14 year old go through not only the trials and tribulations of adolescent life, but also through the stages of developing major depressive disorder and trichotillomania.... Read more »

  • July 19, 2014
  • 02:39 PM
  • 59 views

HIV and Hepatitis C: A New Treatment Coming Soon!!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The old saying it could always be worse might not sound like it would apply to HIV patients. Then again if you had HIV and hepatitis C, that would probably […]... Read more »

Sulkowski, M., Naggie, S., Lalezari, J., Fessel, W., Mounzer, K., Shuhart, M., Luetkemeyer, A., Asmuth, D., Gaggar, A., Ni, L.... (2014) Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin for Hepatitis C in Patients With HIV Coinfection. JAMA, 312(4), 353. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.7734  

  • July 18, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 54 views

Unraveling the Connections of the Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The brain is complex, heck if it wasn’t then we wouldn’t be smart enough to figure out how it works. I guess it’s one of those stupid catch-22 type things. […]... Read more »

  • July 18, 2014
  • 12:56 PM
  • 61 views

The Brain, Down Syndrome, and Antibiotics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

At first glance the title might sound a little weird. But if that is the case then you probably want to read this. Researchers  have identified a group of cells in […]... Read more »

Chen, C., Jiang, P., Xue, H., Peterson, S., Tran, H., McCann, A., Parast, M., Li, S., Pleasure, D., Laurent, L.... (2014) Role of astroglia in Down’s syndrome revealed by patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5430  

  • July 18, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 53 views

What makes a cancer a cancer? The Hallmarks of Cancer

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

Cancer – the ‘C word’ in far too many of our lives. Wherever you are, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to avoid the news reports and personal stories about people fighting against cancer. Understanding how the disease occurs and how it takes hold over the body is key for developing effective new treatments and managing patients in the clinic, and so huge amounts of money are invested in cancer research every year. But what actually is cancer and how does it develop?... Read more »

Hanahan, D., & Weinberg, R. (2000) The Hallmarks of Cancer. Cell, 100(1), 57-70. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81683-9  

Hanahan D, & Weinberg RA. (2011) Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell, 144(5), 646-74. PMID: 21376230  

  • July 18, 2014
  • 08:51 AM
  • 66 views

Scientists Create Alcohol-Resistant Worms That Might Cure Alcoholism

by beredim in Strange Animals

Image showing the effects of alchohol in Caenorhabditis elegans and..humansCredit: Jon Pierce-Shimomura from The University of Texas, Austin.A couple of days ago, a team of neuroscientists from the University of Texas, Austin announced that they have created a new strain of mutant worms which is impervious to the intoxicating effects of alcohol!To create the alcohol-immune worms, the researchers implanted a modified human alcohol target – a neuronal channel called the BK channel SLO-1 tha........ Read more »

  • July 18, 2014
  • 06:47 AM
  • 122 views

Ultrafine particulate matter air pollution, mice and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Reading the headline "Study links air pollution to autism, schizophrenia" in a media piece about the study by Joshua Allen and colleagues* (open-access here) made me want to delve a little more into this research. I've talked before about air pollution and autism (see here) on this blog. Although a healthy degree of scepticism is to be expected with any autism correlation, particularly when it comes to something as generalised as air pollution (or pesticide exposure) there is a growing rese........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2014
  • 11:30 PM
  • 65 views

WHAT MAKES A CANCER A CANCER? THE HALLMARKS OF CANCER.

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

Cancer – the ‘C word’ in far too many of our lives. Wherever you are, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to avoid the news reports and personal stories about people fighting against cancer. Understanding how the disease occurs and how it takes hold over the body is key for developing effective new treatments and managing patients in the clinic, and so huge amounts of money are invested in cancer research every year. But what actually is cancer and how does it develop?... Read more »

Hanahan, D., & Weinberg, R. (2000) The Hallmarks of Cancer. Cell, 100(1), 57-70. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81683-9  

Hanahan D, & Weinberg RA. (2011) Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell, 144(5), 646-74. PMID: 21376230  

  • July 17, 2014
  • 01:04 PM
  • 61 views

A New way to Fight HIV, Using your Genome!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Outsmarting something as “simple” as a virus doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. If only you could set it down to take the SAT’s or something. Unfortunately in the body fighting HIV is more like guerrilla warfare, you take the big losses for a small win. This is no way to wage a war, but HIV is smart. It mutates and sidesteps anything we’ve been able to throw at it. We don’t have a cure, or a vaccine, but we do have scientists trying. New research has made a crucial jump to throwi........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2014
  • 02:47 AM
  • 50 views

Blood lead levels and childhood behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Blood lead concentrations, even at a mean concentration of 6.4 µg/dL, were associated with increased risk of behavioral problems in Chinese preschool children, including internalizing and pervasive developmental problems". That was the conclusion of the study by Jianghong Liu and colleagues [1] looking at blood lead levels in preschoolers aged 3-5 years resident in Jiangsu province in China. Some associated media accompanying this study can be viewed here including the text: "This re........ Read more »

Liu, J., Liu, X., Wang, W., McCauley, L., Pinto-Martin, J., Wang, Y., Li, L., Yan, C., & Rogan, W. (2014) Blood Lead Concentrations and Children’s Behavioral and Emotional Problems. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.332  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 08:17 PM
  • 100 views

The Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Decline

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The Mediterranean diet, it may have broad health benefits [let's face it we can't seem to escape the push for it here in the US], but a new study suggests that […]... Read more »

Koyama, A., Houston, D., Simonsick, E., Lee, J., Ayonayon, H., Shahar, D., Rosano, C., Satterfield, S., & Yaffe, K. (2014) Association Between the Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Decline in a Biracial Population. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glu097  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 01:01 PM
  • 73 views

More Horror from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Deepwater Horizon, it was a technological feat to get oil that deep in the water. Then the spill occurred, when it happened I honestly think more people were in shock […]... Read more »

White, H., Lyons, S., Harrison, S., Findley, D., Liu, Y., & Kujawinski, E. (2014) Long-Term Persistence of Dispersants following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Environmental Science , 1(7), 295-299. DOI: 10.1021/ez500168r  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 04:50 AM
  • 77 views

Organic acids as biomarkers of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Whilst I am always a little cautious about the use of the word 'biomarker' when applied to a heterogeneous condition like autism, even the autisms, I am nevertheless always intrigued at any reasonable prospect reported in the scientific literature. So it was when I read the paper by Joanna Kałużna-Czaplińska and colleagues [1] and their assertion that "there is a significant metabolic difference between autistic and non-autistic children" and onwards that "21 metabolites were identified ........ Read more »

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