Post List

  • March 29, 2016
  • 02:54 AM
  • 160 views

On the use of risperidone and young children with autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Without trying to scaremonger, it is already well known that certain anti-psychotics potentially indicated for some of the more 'challenging behaviours' associated with conditions like autism for example, carry their own important side-effects. Risperidone, one of the more commonly used medicines, has quite an extensive list of possible side-effects, some of which have been previously mentioned on this blog (see here). Increased appetite and weight gain are some of the more commonly observed sid........ Read more »

Scahill, L., Jeon, S., Boorin, S., McDougle, C., Aman, M., Dziura, J., McCracken, J., Caprio, S., Arnold, L., Nicol, G.... (2016) Weight Gain and Metabolic Consequences of Risperidone in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child . DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.02.016  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 11:00 PM
  • 131 views

Minimum Viable Cell

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Craig Venter is on a quest to find the Minimal bacterial genome. It seems the task is 70% complete now. We still don’t understand 30% of the minimum viable organism that we are able to build today, which means that, although we cannot understand what we cannot build, we need not necessarily understand what we can build.... Read more »

Hutchison, C., Chuang, R., Noskov, V., Assad-Garcia, N., Deerinck, T., Ellisman, M., Gill, J., Kannan, K., Karas, B., Ma, L.... (2016) Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome. Science, 351(6280). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6253  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 03:03 PM
  • 216 views

Spoiler alert: Water bears do not have extensive foreign DNA

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tardigrades, they are cute and cuddly — okay maybe not cuddly — but they have earned their nicknames, such as as moss piglets or water bears. Mostly because they look like, well bears (although I don’t see a piglet personally). These guys are eight-legged microscopic animals that have long fascinated scientists for their ability to survive extremes of temperature, pressure, lack of oxygen, and even radiation exposure. Talk about a thrill seeker they can even survive in space, without a sui........ Read more »

Georgios Koutsovoulosa, Sujai Kumara, Dominik R. Laetsch, Lewis Stevens, Jennifer Daub Claire Conlon, Habib Maroon, Fran Thomasa, Aziz A. Aboobakerc, and Mark Blaxter. (2016) No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini. PNAS. DOI: 10.1101/033464  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 167 views

Inner Reading Voices: “Mine sometimes yell at me…” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

When doing pretrial research we have occasionally had mock jurors show up who were inebriated or high (yes, even at 7:45am), hostile or disruptive, confused more than the average person or obviously hearing voices or responding to companions no one else could see. Yes. Occasionally people with obviously serious psychiatric disorders make it through the […]

Related posts:
Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 
What’s that book you’re reading as you wait to be impane........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2016
  • 04:31 AM
  • 184 views

The genetics of self-injurious behaviour accompanying autism? Not quite...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'd like to start by making one thing abundantly clear about today's post: I am not insinuating that self-injurious behaviour (SIB) accompanying autism is solely under genetic (or epigenetic) control.As I've discussed before on this blog, there are potentially many, many reasons why SIB under the umbrella of the so-called 'challenging behaviours' occurs (see here). As and when it does happen, the onus is on those significant others to turn detective before anyone immediately reaches for somethin........ Read more »

Shirley, M., Frelin, L., López, J., Jedlicka, A., Dziedzic, A., Frank-Crawford, M., Silverman, W., Hagopian, L., & Pevsner, J. (2016) Copy Number Variants Associated with 14 Cases of Self-Injurious Behavior. PLOS ONE, 11(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149646  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 04:30 AM
  • 156 views

9-Point Survey to Determine Risk of Persistent Postconcusison Symptoms in Pediatric Population

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

A novel clinical risk score developed for the acutely concussed pediatric population has a modest ability to discriminate between those at low, medium, or high risk for persistent postconcussion symptoms at 28 days.... Read more »

Zemek R, Barrowman N, Freedman SB, Gravel J, Gagnon I, McGahern C, Aglipay M, Sangha G, Boutis K, Beer D.... (2016) Clinical Risk Score for Persistent Postconcussion Symptoms Among Children With Acute Concussion in the ED. JAMA, 315(10), 1014-25. PMID: 26954410  

  • March 27, 2016
  • 09:03 PM
  • 211 views

Everybody Loves Dopamine

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Dopamine is love. Dopamine is reward. Dopamine is addiction.Neuroscientists have a love/hate relationship with how this monoamine neurotransmitter is portrayed in the popular press.wwlp.comthestranger.com[The claim of vagus nerve-stimulating headphones is worth a post in its own right.]observer.com“You can fold your laundry, but you can’t fold your dopamine.”- James Cole Abrams, M.A. (in Contemplative Psychotherapy)The word dopamine has become a shorthand for positive reinforcement, whethe........ Read more »

  • March 27, 2016
  • 03:33 PM
  • 199 views

Modified maggots could help human wound healing

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When most of us think maggots, we probably don’t think anything good, but maybe we should start. In a proof-of-concept study, researchers have shown that genetically engineered green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) larvae can produce and secrete a human growth factor – a molecule that helps promote cell growth and wound healing.

... Read more »

  • March 27, 2016
  • 10:24 AM
  • 190 views

Responses to Typos and Personality: "Grammar Nazis" Confirmed?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Do you haet typos? If you spot a grammo (a grammatical error), does your blood boil?

Some people are more offended by these kinds of linguistic errors than others, but why? Ann Arbor psychologists Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen examine this in a new PLOS ONE paper called If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages



The authors recruited 83 volunteers (on MTurk) and asked them to imagine that they'd placed an... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 11:45 PM
  • 174 views

Don’t treat the player, treat the game: buffer therapy and bevacizumab

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

No matter how much I like modeling for the sake of modeling, or science for the sake of science, working in a hospital adds some constraints. At some point people look over at you measuring games in the Petri dish and ask “why are you doing this?” They expect an answer that involves something that […]... Read more »

  • March 26, 2016
  • 04:40 PM
  • 207 views

Organic nanowires destroy the competition

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Last month, we spoke of our vision of the future of humanity here at the lab. It makes sense that humanity would one-day step away from the static, non-living computer constructs we have designed. Moving us instead towards an organic alternative, one that can be readily repaired, replaced, or changed. While we cannot pretend to know what the future may hold, a new discovery helps bolster the stance we presented.

... Read more »

Lampa-Pastirk, S., Veazey, J., Walsh, K., Feliciano, G., Steidl, R., Tessmer, S., & Reguera, G. (2016) Thermally activated charge transport in microbial protein nanowires. Scientific Reports, 23517. DOI: 10.1038/srep23517  

  • March 26, 2016
  • 04:58 AM
  • 202 views

The 'disrupted connectivity hypothesis of autism': where next?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

'The disrupted connectivity hypothesis of autism spectrum disorders: Time for the next phase in research' went the title of the paper by Roma Vasa and colleagues [1].Disrupted connectivity by the way, refers to the idea that "deficiencies in the way the brain coordinates and synchronizes activity amongst different regions may account for the clinical symptoms of ASD [autism spectrum disorders]." Picture if you will, the brain as a serious of telephone wires all connecting different parts of........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2016
  • 06:51 PM
  • 282 views

Mental illness, that’s a funny term isn’t it?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In today’s lexicon, the term mental illness is used pretty widely. It can be used to describe someone suffering from depression, to PTSD, to even someone suicidal. In fact, today it is sort of a catch all term for anyone who is involved in a mass shooting here in the US. We are getting off […]... Read more »

Elkington, K., Teplin, L., Abram, K., Jakubowski, J., Dulcan, M., & Welty, L. (2015) Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002  

Su, J., Chen, J., Lippold, K., Monavarfeshani, A., Carrillo, G., Jenkins, R., & Fox, M. (2016) Collagen-derived matricryptins promote inhibitory nerve terminal formation in the developing neocortex. The Journal of Cell Biology, 212(6), 721-736. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201509085  

Jacobs, R., Barba, A., Gowins, J., Klumpp, H., Jenkins, L., Mickey, B., Ajilore, O., Peciña, M., Sikora, M., Ryan, K.... (2016) Decoupling of the amygdala to other salience network regions in adolescent-onset recurrent major depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715002615  

  • March 25, 2016
  • 04:48 PM
  • 239 views

Study finds vast diversity among bacteriophages

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Viruses that infect bacteria are among the most abundant life forms on Earth. Indeed, our oceans, soils and potentially even our bodies would be overrun with bacteria were it not for bacteria-eating viruses, called bacteriophages, that keep the microbial balance of ecological niches in check. Now, a new study suggests that bacteriophages made of RNA — a close chemical cousin of DNA — likely play a much larger role in shaping the bacterial makeup of worldwide habitats than previously ........ Read more »

Krishnamurthy, S., Janowski, A., Zhao, G., Barouch, D., & Wang, D. (2016) Hyperexpansion of RNA Bacteriophage Diversity. PLOS Biology, 14(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002409  

  • March 25, 2016
  • 05:42 AM
  • 173 views

Blocks & Locks...

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Drug Discovery, Part II

This posts talks about the next stages of Drug Discovery. How is an initial hit first found? And why is it like Lego?... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2016) Blocks . Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • March 25, 2016
  • 05:13 AM
  • 226 views

Multiple 'depressions' and multiple trajectories? Sounds very familiar.

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm a fan of the idea that the categorical labelling system currently used in psychiatric and psychological circles probably isn't fit for purpose these days. Y'know, the idea that compartmentalising people into diagnostic boxes with an overarching title whilst useful for general identity and statistical classification, does little to inform about individual experiences or the important cross-over in presentation between and across different labels. Don't even get me started on how the use of su........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2016
  • 07:23 AM
  • 254 views

Distrust of atheists is "deeply and culturally ingrained" even among atheists

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Just as people throughout history have been subject to prejudice and persecution because of their religious beliefs, recent evidence suggests that atheists today are discriminated against because of their lack of faith. For instance, in a 2012 study, nearly one in two atheists and agnostics reported having experienced discrimination at work, in the family and elsewhere. Another US study that asked respondents to imagine their children marrying people from different social groups found that parti........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2016
  • 06:12 AM
  • 193 views

Creating Better Concept Definitions in SCM

by Andreas Wieland in Supply Chain Management Research

I believe we all have already experienced this: The same concept can sometimes be defined in very different ways by different authors. Conceptual clarity would certainly be great, but how can we achieve it? Think, for example, about concepts such as trust, integration or dependence. So, what do we really mean when we are talking […]... Read more »

  • March 24, 2016
  • 04:37 AM
  • 220 views

Sickness and disability benefit and mental illness in the UK

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Mental disorders have become the most common cause of receiving benefits, with the number of claimants rising by 103% from 1995 to 1.1 million in 2014. Claimants with other conditions fell by 35%."The findings reported by Sebastião Viola & Joanna Moncrieff [1] (open-access) provide stark evidence of both how prevalent mental illness is these days, and the financial implications of such illness to both the individual and more generally society.Set within the context of some pretty infl........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2016
  • 04:16 AM
  • 209 views

What are homoeologs? (story behind the paper)

by Christophe Dessimoz in Open Reading Frame

We know homologs are genes related by common ancestry. But throw complex evolutionary events into the mix and things can get little dicey. Under the umbrella of homologs exist many different categories: orthologs, paralogs, ohnologs, xenologs, co-ortholog, in-paralogs, out-paralogs, paleologs, among others. All of these —log terms have a specific meaning (see my previous blog post on orthology and paralogy), but now we will focus on one in particular: homoeologs.

But before we get into ........ Read more »

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