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  • April 18, 2015
  • 02:14 PM
  • 2 views

Kids with ADHD must squirm to learn

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For decades, frustrated parents and teachers have barked at fidgety children with ADHD to “Sit still and concentrate!” But new research shows that if you want ADHD kids to learn, you have to let them squirm. The foot-tapping, leg-swinging and chair-scooting movements of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks.... Read more »

  • April 18, 2015
  • 05:22 AM
  • 13 views

Autistic traits in adult-onset psychiatric disorders?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"To conclude, the presentation of ALTs [autistic-like traits/symptoms] at the sub-threshold or threshold level may be closely associated with BPD [bipolar disorder] and SZ [schizophrenia]."That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Junko Matsuo and colleagues [1] (open-access here) based on their analysis of nearly 300 adults aged between 25-59 years including those diagnosed with "MDD [major depressive disorder], n=125; bipolar disorder, n=56; schizophrenia,&n........ Read more »

Matsuo J, Kamio Y, Takahashi H, Ota M, Teraishi T, Hori H, Nagashima A, Takei R, Higuchi T, Motohashi N.... (2015) Autistic-Like Traits in Adult Patients with Mood Disorders and Schizophrenia. PloS one, 10(4). PMID: 25838109  

  • April 17, 2015
  • 07:47 PM
  • 24 views

Study links brain anatomy, academic achievement, and family income

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many years of research have shown that for students from lower-income families, standardized test scores and other measures of academic success tend to lag behind those of wealthier students. Well now a new study offers another dimension to this so-called “achievement gap”After imaging the brains of high- and low-income students, they found that the higher-income students had thicker brain cortex in areas associated with visual perception and knowledge accumulation.... Read more »

Allyson Mackey et al. (2015) Students’ Family Income Linked With Brain Anatomy, Academic Achievement. Psychological Science. info:/

  • April 17, 2015
  • 03:56 PM
  • 18 views

Artificial blood vessel lets researchers assess clot removal devices

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For the first time, researchers have created an in vitro, live-cell artificial vessel that can be used to study both the application and effects of devices used to extract life-threatening blood clots in the brain. The artificial vessel could have significant implications for future development of endovascular technologies, including reducing the need for animal models to test new devices or approaches.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2015
  • 10:44 AM
  • 21 views

Sick Coyotes Are More Likely to Come into Cities

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Run-ins are on the rise between coyotes and city-dwelling humans, and scientists aren't sure why. Now researchers in Alberta think they've found a piece of the puzzle. Coyotes are more likely to creep into human spaces if they're unhealthy.

Conflict between humans and coyotes has increased during the last 20 years, write University of Alberta graduate student Maureen Murray and her coauthors. Yet coyotes were expanding their range for decades before that. They've spread to inhabit nearly ... Read more »

Murray, M., Edwards, M., Abercrombie, B., & St. Clair, C. (2015) Poor health is associated with use of anthropogenic resources in an urban carnivore. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1806), 20150009-20150009. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0009  

  • April 17, 2015
  • 04:38 AM
  • 39 views

Rhabdomyomas: an additional BHD hamartoma phenotype?

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Hamartomas are benign, focal malformations formed by an excess of normal tissue growing in a disorganised fashion. Several hamartoma syndromes have been linked to aberrant mTOR signalling including BHD and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). In addition to the predisposition of BHD patients to develop hair follicle hamartomas or fibrofolliculomas (Birt et al., 1977), Fuyura et al., (2012) propose that the pulmonary cysts in BHD patients are hamartoma-like cystic alveolar formations. The benign nat........ Read more »

Bondavalli D, White SM, Steer A, Pflaumer A, & Winship I. (2015) Is cardiac rhabdomyoma a feature of Birt Hogg Dubé syndrome?. American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 167(4), 802-4. PMID: 25655561  

  • April 17, 2015
  • 03:52 AM
  • 31 views

Higher cancer mortality rates associated with mental illness

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The findings reported by Steve Kisely and colleagues [1] were of some interest recently and their assertion that despite cancer incidence being "the same as the general population for most psychiatric disorders" or even slightly reduced when a diagnosis of schizophrenia was for example received, mortality due to cancer was "increased in psychiatric patients."Such findings were based on their examination of: "Mental health records [that] were linked with cancer registrations and death r........ Read more »

  • April 16, 2015
  • 02:39 PM
  • 39 views

Could maple syrup help cut use of antibiotics?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Another reason to have those waffles… well maybe. Researchers have found that a concentrated extract of maple syrup makes disease-causing bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics. In an ever increasing antibiotic resistant world, this news is almost as sweet as the syrup (okay no more bad puns). The findings suggest that combining maple syrup extract with common antibiotics could increase the microbes’ susceptibility, leading to lower antibiotic usage.... Read more »

  • April 16, 2015
  • 01:10 PM
  • 36 views

Counting Chicks

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

It’s probably not a surprise that humans aren’t the only animals with a sense of numbers. While they’re probably not …Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 16, 2015
  • 08:40 AM
  • 37 views

Outbreak! Time To Review The Origins Of Vaccination

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Imagine a world without vaccines. The recent measles outbreak in Disneyland is providing us with a very small taste of what such a world would be like. Today on THE 'SCOPE, we go back in time to the age of smallpox and review the fascinating discoveries that led Edward Jenner to invent vaccination, a process that has saved countless lives.... Read more »

Babkin, I., & Babkina, I. (2015) The Origin of the Variola Virus. Viruses, 7(3), 1100-1112. DOI: 10.3390/v7031100  

  • April 16, 2015
  • 05:21 AM
  • 40 views

Paternal sperm epigenetic differences and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"These data suggest that epigenetic differences in paternal sperm may contribute to autism risk in offspring."So said the preliminary study results published by Jason Feinberg and colleagues [1]  (open-access) looking at "paternal semen biosamples obtained from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enriched-risk pregnancy cohort, the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) cohort." Researchers analysed 44 semen samples to ascertain whether DNA methylation differences - one typ........ Read more »

Jason I Feinberg, Kelly M Bakulski, Andrew E Jaffe, Rakel Tryggvadottir, Shannon C Brown, Lynn R Goldman, Lisa A Croen, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Craig J Newschaffer, M Daniele Fallin.... (2015) Paternal sperm DNA methylation associated with early signs of autism risk in an autism-enriched cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology. info:/10.1093/ije/dyv028

  • April 15, 2015
  • 03:45 PM
  • 53 views

Brain development suffers from lack of fish oil fatty acids

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While being inundated with advertisements directed at moms to be, skeptical parents should question the supposed health benefits of anything being sold. However, while recent reports question whether fish oil supplements support heart health, scientists have found that the fatty acids they contain are vitally important to the developing brain. Meaning there might actually be truth in advertising -- this time at least.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2015
  • 02:19 PM
  • 38 views

Porcine Circovirus: Autophagy. Nucleolus, and Apoptosis

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a small non-enveloped single-strand (ss) DNA virus with a genome of 1768 bp in length. Although the infection of pigs with PCV2 by itself only causes a relatively mild diseases, symptoms -including Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS), congenital tremors, Porcine Dermatitis and Nephropathy Syndrome, reproductive failure, proliferative and necrotizing pneumonia, enteritis, exudative epidermitis, and porcine respiratory disease complex- are alleviat........ Read more »

Todd, D et al. (2005) Circoviridae. Virus taxonomy: VIIIth report of the International Committee on Taxon- omy of Viruses. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-7020-2862-5.50039-8  

Rosell C, Segalés J, Ramos-Vara JA, Folch JM, Rodríguez-Arrioja GM, Duran CO, Balasch M, Plana-Durán J, & Domingo M. (2000) Identification of porcine circovirus in tissues of pigs with porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome. The Veterinary record, 146(2), 40-3. PMID: 10678809  

Bird SW, & Kirkegaard K. (2015) Nonlytic spread of naked viruses. Autophagy, 11(2), 430-1. PMID: 25680079  

Bird SW, Maynard ND, Covert MW, & Kirkegaard K. (2014) Nonlytic viral spread enhanced by autophagy components. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(36), 13081-6. PMID: 25157142  

  • April 15, 2015
  • 09:35 AM
  • 45 views

Video Tip of the Week: Viewing Amino Acid info in the UCSC Genome Browser

by Mary in OpenHelix

We’ve been doing training on the UCSC Genome Browser for over 10 years now. We’ve seen it grow from just a few genomes and a few tracks to the enormous trove of information it is today. In fact, one of the toughest things about training is how to balance all the new information and features […]... Read more »

Rosenbloom K. R., G. P. Barber, J. Casper, H. Clawson, M. Diekhans, T. R. Dreszer, P. A. Fujita, L. Guruvadoo, M. Haeussler, & R. A. Harte. (2014) The UCSC Genome Browser database: 2015 update. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gku1177  

  • April 15, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 38 views

Boy Plants Are From Mars …..

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Darwin missed the boat on plants. He recognized sexual dimorphism and sexual selection in animals, but didn’t see the same thing in flowers. Boy plants can look, grow, smell or locate very different from female plants. And it matters – some beetles seek out boy plants for their smell and deliver pollen to girl plants as a bribe for letting them lay eggs there! They have learned to tell guy from gal.
... Read more »

Okamoto, T., Kawakita, A., Goto, R., Svensson, G., & Kato, M. (2013) Active pollination favours sexual dimorphism in floral scent. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1772), 20132280-20132280. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2280  

  • April 15, 2015
  • 07:20 AM
  • 35 views

Lar Gibbons Give Clues To Language Origins

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Lar gibbon language may provide insight into the evolution of human language.... Read more »

  • April 15, 2015
  • 03:31 AM
  • 34 views

Maternal diabetes and offspring autism risk... again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In this large, multiethnic clinical cohort of singleton children born at 28 to 44 weeks’ gestation, exposure to maternal GDM [gestational diabetes mellitus] diagnosed by 26 weeks’ gestation was associated with risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in offspring."That was the conclusion reached by Anny Xiang and colleagues [1] (open-access) following their analysis of some 3300 children diagnosed with ASD as part of a wider cohort of over 300,000 children "born in 19........ Read more »

Xiang, A., Wang, X., Martinez, M., Walthall, J., Curry, E., Page, K., Buchanan, T., Coleman, K., & Getahun, D. (2015) Association of Maternal Diabetes With Autism in Offspring. JAMA, 313(14), 1425. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.2707  

  • April 14, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 48 views

Tracking membranes by imaging – mCLING and surface glycans

by Gal Haimovich in Green Fluorescent Blog

Living cells exhibit many types of membranes which participate in most biological precesses, one way or another. Imaging membranes is usually acheived by two types of reagents: chemical dyes or fluorescent proteins that are targeted to the membrane itself or … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jiang H, English BP, Hazan RB, Wu P, & Ovryn B. (2015) Tracking surface glycans on live cancer cells with single-molecule sensitivity. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), 54(6), 1765-9. PMID: 25515330  

Revelo NH, Kamin D, Truckenbrodt S, Wong AB, Reuter-Jessen K, Reisinger E, Moser T, & Rizzoli SO. (2014) A new probe for super-resolution imaging of membranes elucidates trafficking pathways. The Journal of cell biology, 205(4), 591-606. PMID: 24862576  

  • April 14, 2015
  • 03:18 PM
  • 48 views

Watch out Atkins: Over eating fatty foods can alter your muscle metabolism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

More bad news on the obesity front and strangely enough, on the popular diet front too — at least for diets like atkins. New research shows that even short term high-fat diets can change your metabolism. So while you might think that you can get away with eating fatty foods for a few days without it making any significant changes to your body, think again.... Read more »

Anderson, A., Haynie, K., McMillan, R., Osterberg, K., Boutagy, N., Frisard, M., Davy, B., Davy, K., & Hulver, M. (2015) Early skeletal muscle adaptations to short-term high-fat diet in humans before changes in insulin sensitivity. Obesity, 23(4), 720-724. DOI: 10.1002/oby.21031  

  • April 14, 2015
  • 04:08 AM
  • 42 views

Immune signature in ME/CFS detected in cerebrospinal fluid

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The research tag-team that is Mady Hornig and Ian Lipkin are fairly frequently mentioned on this blog. If it's not to do with their studies in autism research (see here for a recent mention) it is with their ground-breaking work looking at chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in mind (see here for example).Indeed their latest paper [1] extends some recent findings (see here) on immune involvement in relation to CFS/ME [2] with a focus on examinations in cerebrospinal flu........ Read more »

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