In a curious case report, Indian psychiatrists Lekhansh Shukla and colleagues describe a young man who said he regularly got high by being bitten by a snake.
The 21-year old patient sought treatment for his heavy drug abuse, which included heroin and marijuna. He also reported a less conventional habit: he visited a local snake charmer, where he was bitten on the lips by a "cobra" in order to get high:
He reported that his peers and the snake charmer informed him that he would have drows... Read more »
Shukla L, Reddy SS, Kandasamy A, & Benegal V. (2017) What kills everyone, gives a high for some-Recreational Snake Envenomation. Asian journal of psychiatry, 106-108. PMID: 28262128
In a recent study, researchers provide a new theory for the reason we walk the Earth
A new provocative study suggests it was the power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land. According to it, crocodile-like animals first saw easy meals on land and consequently evolved limbs that enabled them to get there, ... Read more »
MacIver MA, Schmitz L, Mugan U, Murphey TD, & Mobley CD. (2017) Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 28270619
"Individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and their relatives are at increased risk of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]."So said the paper published by Laura Ghirardi and colleagues  (open-access) who studied "1 899 654 individuals born in Sweden between 1987 and 2006" and identified some 28,000 cases of ASD and 82,000 cases of ADHD "with 13 793 individuals... being comorbid cases."Results: "Individuals with ASD were at higher risk of having ADHD, co........ Read more »
Ghirardi L, Brikell I, Kuja-Halkola R, Freitag CM, Franke B, Asherson P, Lichtenstein P, & Larsson H. (2017) The familial co-aggregation of ASD and ADHD: a register-based cohort study. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 28242872
Radiotherapy is a highly efficient treatment for many cancers including breast cancer. Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), a relatively new type of radiation therapy, has proven successful as a curative treatment for early cancer stages. However, in spite of great improvements in dose delivery and imaging technology, unwanted exposure of healthy tissue to radiation cannot be fully avoided. The resulting late-onset toxicity due to the exposure of health tissue currently limits the usefulness of r........ Read more »
Weigel C, Veldwijk MR, Oakes CC, Seibold P, Slynko A, Liesenfeld DB, Rabionet M, Hanke SA, Wenz F, Sperk E.... (2016) Epigenetic regulation of diacylglycerol kinase alpha promotes radiation-induced fibrosis. Nature communications, 10893. PMID: 26964756
Readers of this post are advised to check out a previous blogging occasion describing how 'FRAAs - folate receptor alpha autoantibodies - may correlate with reduced thyroid function in cases of autism' before heading into this entry on the recent paper published by Richard Frye and colleagues .You're back already? OK, well just in case you didn't read that last entry (😉), it's worthwhile first noting that: "Folate receptor α (FRα) autoantibodies (FRAAs) are prevalent in autism spectrum d........ Read more »
Frye RE, Wynne R, Rose S, Slattery J, Delhey L, Tippett M, Kahler SG, Bennuri SC, Melnyk S, Sequeira JM.... (2017) Thyroid dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorder is associated with folate receptor alpha autoimmune disorder. Journal of neuroendocrinology. PMID: 28199771
The group feautred in this videp was formed by three adult or sub-adult whales. Social behavior of the True's Beaked Whale is still unknown but the group seemed to dive in a coordinated manner, as has been observed in other species of beaked whales. Credit: Roland Edler
True's beaked whales (Mesoplodon mirus) are such an elusive species that it's only now that we finally have the ... Read more »
Aguilar de Soto, N., Martín, V., Silva, M., Edler, R., Reyes, C., Carrillo, M., Schiavi, A., Morales, T., García-Ovide, B., Sanchez-Mora, A.... (2017) True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia. PeerJ. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3059
The paper by Dennis Anheyer and colleagues  (open-access available here) is offered up for your reading consumption today, and the results of a review of the available published science - "Only randomized controlled trails (RCT)" (authors' spelling mistake not mine) - looking at the use of herbal medicines for the treatment/management of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).OK I know some people read the term 'herbal medicine' and automatically think 'woo'. If I instead use th........ Read more »
Anheyer D, Lauche R, Schumann D, Dobos G, & Cramer H. (2017) Herbal medicines in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): A systematic review. Complementary therapies in medicine, 14-23. PMID: 28137522
Ten years ago the Public Library of Science started one big lower impact and a series of smaller higher impact journals. Over the years these publication outlets diverged. The growing divide between standard and top journals might mirror wider trends in scholarly publishing. There are roughly two kinds of journals in the Public Library of […]... Read more »
New study by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) shows how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can be trained to score goals with a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities:
Researchers train bumblebees to move a ball in order to access a sugar solution as a reward.
The study, published in the journal Science, suggests that species whose lifestyle demands advanced ... Read more »
Loukola, O., Perry, C., Coscos, L., & Chittka, L. (2017) Bumblebees show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behavior. Science, 355(6327), 833-836. DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2360
A paper which is a bit 'out of left field' is presented for your reading pleasure today and how one should be rather careful about how animal research - "with focus on animal models of mental illness" - is translated into relevance to humans .The paper by Espen Sjoberg is pertinent to various diagnostic labels including depression and schizophrenia. I would perhaps disagree with the author including autism under the specific heading of 'mental illness' (bearing in mind various mental hea........ Read more »
Sjoberg EA. (2017) Logical fallacies in animal model research. Behavioral and Brain Functions. info:/10.1186/s12993-017-0121-8
The genetic condition called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) has, on occasion, provided some research fodder for this blog (see here and see here). The reason for its inclusion here has tended to be around the 'overlap' in the presentation of 22q11.2 and autism/autistic features and the importance of appropriate screening as and when an autism diagnosis is received (see here). Remember: receipt of an autism diagnosis is a starting point not the finishing line.Today I'm once again talk........ Read more »
Vergaelen E, Claes S, Kempke S, & Swillen A. (2017) High prevalence of fatigue in adults with a 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. American journal of medical genetics. Part A. PMID: 28190295
With increasing computational power (aka GPU) that can be accessed these days, it is no wonder that performing all-atom molecular dynamics simulation for a longer time, with duplicates and/or triplicates, has become easier.... Read more »
Zuo Z, & Liu J. (2016) Cas9-catalyzed DNA Cleavage Generates Staggered Ends: Evidence from Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Scientific reports, 37584. PMID: 27874072
Marzinek JK, Holdbrook DA, Huber RG, Verma C, & Bond PJ. (2016) Pushing the Envelope: Dengue Viral Membrane Coaxed into Shape by Molecular Simulations. Structure (London, England : 1993), 24(8), 1410-20. PMID: 27396828
What happens in the brain when we die?
Canadian researchers Loretta Norton and colleagues of the University of Western Ontario examine this grave question in a new paper: Electroencephalographic Recordings During Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapy Until 30 Minutes After Declaration of Death
Norton et al. examined frontal EEG recordings from four critically ill patients at the point where their life support was withdrawn. Here are some details on the four:
Here's the EEG recor... Read more »
Norton L, Gibson RM, Gofton T, Benson C, Dhanani S, Shemie SD, Hornby L, Ward R, & Young GB. (2017) Electroencephalographic Recordings During Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapy Until 30 Minutes After Declaration of Death. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 44(2), 139-145. PMID: 28231862
This year’s Findacure Scientific Conference took place in London on Rare Disease Day and was again focused on Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases. The conference brought together over 100 representatives from patient groups, researchers and members of the healthcare industry to discuss the importance and the latest developments in drug repurposing for rare diseases.... Read more »
Gijezen LM, Vernooij M, Martens H, Oduber CE, Henquet CJ, Starink TM, Prins MH, Menko FH, Nelemans PJ, & van Steensel MA. (2014) Topical rapamycin as a treatment for fibrofolliculomas in Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome: a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized split-face trial. PloS one, 9(6). PMID: 24910976
The paper by Christian Pulcini and colleagues  talking about poverty status potentially influencing "parent-reported lifetime prevalence and comorbidities" when it comes to three target conditions (autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and asthma) should have been a call to action. Concluding that "poor and near poor children had a higher lifetime prevalence of asthma and ADHD, but not ASD [autism spectrum disorder]" , some of the findings have instead attracted crit........ Read more »
Pulcini CD, Zima BT, Kelleher KJ, & Houtrow AJ. (2017) Poverty and Trends in Three Common Chronic Disorders. Pediatrics. PMID: 28193790
"Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] without ID [intellectual disability] could be differentiated into Moderate and Severe Social Impairment subgroups when core ASD symptoms were more closely examined."So said the findings reported by Felicity Klopper and colleagues  looking at an important part of the autism research scene related to the 'plurality' of the term autism and the seemingly vast range of presentations included under the label. Reliant on data obtained........ Read more »
Felicity Klopper, Renee Testa, Christos Pantelis, & Efstratios Skafidas. (2017) A cluster analysis exploration of autism spectrum disorder subgroups in children without intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. info:/10.1016/j.rasd.2017.01.006
When the fertilization occurs, the maternal and paternal pronuclei have thousands of opposite methylated regions. Most of this germline methylation are resolved during the postfertilization epigenetic reprogramming by active mechanism for the sperm-derived methylated regions and depending on DNA replication for the oocyte-derived ones. There is a subset of regions that are known to avoid this demethylation: the imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs). The imprinted DMRs are in general........ Read more »
Sanchez-Delgado M, Court F, Vidal E, Medrano J, Monteagudo-Sánchez A, Martin-Trujillo A, Tayama C, Iglesias-Platas I, Kondova I, Bontrop R.... (2016) Human Oocyte-Derived Methylation Differences Persist in the Placenta Revealing Widespread Transient Imprinting. PLoS genetics, 12(11). PMID: 27835649
Proudhon C, Duffié R, Ajjan S, Cowley M, Iranzo J, Carbajosa G, Saadeh H, Holland ML, Oakey RJ, Rakyan VK.... (2012) Protection against de novo methylation is instrumental in maintaining parent-of-origin methylation inherited from the gametes. Molecular cell, 47(6), 909-20. PMID: 22902559
Smith ZD, Chan MM, Humm KC, Karnik R, Mekhoubad S, Regev A, Eggan K, & Meissner A. (2014) DNA methylation dynamics of the human preimplantation embryo. Nature, 511(7511), 611-5. PMID: 25079558
Barbaux S, Gascoin-Lachambre G, Buffat C, Monnier P, Mondon F, Tonanny MB, Pinard A, Auer J, Bessières B, Barlier A.... (2012) A genome-wide approach reveals novel imprinted genes expressed in the human placenta. Epigenetics, 7(9), 1079-90. PMID: 22894909
Court F, Tayama C, Romanelli V, Martin-Trujillo A, Iglesias-Platas I, Okamura K, Sugahara N, Simón C, Moore H, Harness JV.... (2014) Genome-wide parent-of-origin DNA methylation analysis reveals the intricacies of human imprinting and suggests a germline methylation-independent mechanism of establishment. Genome research, 24(4), 554-69. PMID: 24402520
Sanchez-Delgado M, Martin-Trujillo A, Tayama C, Vidal E, Esteller M, Iglesias-Platas I, Deo N, Barney O, Maclean K, Hata K.... (2015) Absence of Maternal Methylation in Biparental Hydatidiform Moles from Women with NLRP7 Maternal-Effect Mutations Reveals Widespread Placenta-Specific Imprinting. PLoS genetics, 11(11). PMID: 26544189
Hanna CW, Peñaherrera MS, Saadeh H, Andrews S, McFadden DE, Kelsey G, & Robinson WP. (2016) Pervasive polymorphic imprinted methylation in the human placenta. Genome research, 26(6), 756-67. PMID: 26769960
The paper by Supekar and colleagues  provides some food for thought today specifically with the idea that comorbidity profiles accompanying autism might be influenced by age and gender in mind.To quote: "These results highlight crucial differences between cross-sectional comorbidity patterns and their interactions with sex and age, which may aid in the development of effective sex- and age-specific diagnostic/treatment strategies for ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and comorbid condi........ Read more »
Supekar K, Iyer T, & Menon V. (2017) The influence of sex and age on prevalence rates of comorbid conditions in autism. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 28188687
Last month, with just hours to spare in January, I shared a linkdex of the 14 cancer-related posts from TheEGG in 2016. Now, as February runs out, it’s time to reflect on the 15 non cancer-specific posts from last year. Although, as we’ll see, some of them are still related to mathematical oncology. With a […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, A., Vander Velde, R., Scott, J.G., & Basanta, D. (2017) Cancer treatment scheduling and dynamic heterogeneity in social dilemmas of tumour acidity and vasculature. British Journal of Cancer. PMID: 28183139
Humans have been fighting our internal clocks ever since we invented sitting around a campfire. We have powerful natural rhythms that keep us on a 24-hour cycle; if you've ever been steamrollered by jet lag after an intercontinental flight, you know how powerful those rhythms are. But we muffle them with caffeine, alarm clocks, and electric lights. It's easy to undo the damage, though. One weekend of camping can do the trick—and it'll even cure your case of the Mondays.
In 2013, rese........ Read more »
Stothard ER, McHill AW, Depner CM, Birks BR, Moehlman TM, Ritchie HK, Guzzetti JR, Chinoy ED, LeBourgeois MK, Axelsson J.... (2017) Circadian Entrainment to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle across Seasons and the Weekend. Current biology : CB, 27(4), 508-513. PMID: 28162893
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