This post describes what Autoimmune diseases are. Part II will describe the potential of anti-cancer therapies as treatments for Autoimmune disease.... Read more »
Remember Walter Mitty? He was a fictional character who escaped his dull day-to-day existence by constructing elaborate daydreams wherein he was the hero rather than a wallflower. Well, apparently Walter was not so unusual. There are people who spend as much as 60% of their time lost in daydreams. These are people who realize their […]
Can you trust the results of forensic evaluations on legal sanity?
Legal decisions that tick jurors off
Will your genetic defense for that........ Read more »
Bigelsen J, Lehrfeld JM, Jopp DS, & Somer E. (2016) Maladaptive daydreaming: Evidence for an under-researched mental health disorder. Consciousness and Cognition, 254-66. PMID: 27082138
Given my own research interest in the use of specific dietary modifications as possible intervention tools for some aspects of some autism (see here) I was more than interested to read the results published by Faezeh Ghalichi and colleagues  following their randomised-controlled trial of a gluten-free diet (GFD) including some 80 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).As part of an area of much discussion, debate and also heated argument down the years, the author........ Read more »
Ghalichi F, Ghaemmaghami J, Malek A, & Ostadrahimi A. (2016) Effect of gluten free diet on gastrointestinal and behavioral indices for children with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized clinical trial. World journal of pediatrics : WJP. PMID: 27286693
Human skin emits light (albeit the glow is extremely weak) and a wide variety of small molecules that may be sometimes "sniffed" by dogs or even other humans. These chemicals tell a story about our health and wellness, things we eat and drink, touch and breathe. Mosquitoes use such emissions to assess our "attractiveness" from indicators such as Indoles (unpleasantly smelling but healthy "inner soil" biomarker) or carbon dioxide (amount of which correlates with the size of the person........ Read more »
Andreoni G, Standoli CE, & Perego P. (2016) Defining Requirements and Related Methods for Designing Sensorized Garments. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 16(6). PMID: 27240361
Gao W, Emaminejad S, Nyein HY, Challa S, Chen K, Peck A, Fahad HM, Ota H, Shiraki H, Kiriya D.... (2016) Fully integrated wearable sensor arrays for multiplexed in situ perspiration analysis. Nature, 529(7587), 509-14. PMID: 26819044
Imani S, Bandodkar AJ, Mohan AM, Kumar R, Yu S, Wang J, & Mercier PP. (2016) A wearable chemical-electrophysiological hybrid biosensing system for real-time health and fitness monitoring. Nature communications, 11650. PMID: 27212140
Lee H, Choi TK, Lee YB, Cho HR, Ghaffari R, Wang L, Choi HJ, Chung TD, Lu N, Hyeon T.... (2016) A graphene-based electrochemical device with thermoresponsive microneedles for diabetes monitoring and therapy. Nature nanotechnology, 11(6), 566-72. PMID: 26999482
Panneer Selvam A, Muthukumar S, Kamakoti V, & Prasad S. (2016) A wearable biochemical sensor for monitoring alcohol consumption lifestyle through Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) detection in human sweat. Scientific reports, 23111. PMID: 26996103
Is copper deficiency contributing to the obesity epidemic? Though small amounts of copper are essential to health - oysters, liver, beans and nuts are good sources - copper's role in metabolism has been unclear: Some studies found that it boosted fat burning, others that it depressed it.
... Read more »
I discuss an upcoming article on how natural selection and sexual selection affect the courtship behavior of the common chameleon.... Read more »
Keren-Rotem, T., Levy, N., Wolf, L., Bouskila, A., & Geffen, E. (2016) Male preference for sexual signalling over crypsis is associated with alternative mating tactics. Animal Behaviour, 43-49. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.04.021
"The brain is a three dimensional object." It would seem that this is one of the least controversial facts about the brain, something we can all agree on. But now, in a curious new paper, researchers Arturo Tozzi and James F. Peters suggest that the brain might have an extra dimension: Towards a fourth spatial dimension of brain activity
From topology, a strong concept comes into play in understanding brain functions, namely, the 4D space of a ‘‘hypersphere’s torus’’, undetectable by........ Read more »
Tozzi A, & Peters JF. (2016) Towards a fourth spatial dimension of brain activity. Cognitive neurodynamics, 10(3), 189-99. PMID: 27275375
I don't want to keep you today. Just long enough to draw your attention to the paper by Jones and colleagues  regarding "ongoing efforts toward identification of early biological markers specific to subphenotypes of ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."The potential biomarkers in question this time around were the cytokines/chemokines - those various signalling molecules that seem to have more than a few connections to important processes like inflammation - and how their profile ("mid-gestat........ Read more »
Jones KL, Croen LA, Yoshida CK, Heuer L, Hansen R, Zerbo O, DeLorenze GN, Kharrazi M, Yolken R, Ashwood P.... (2016) Autism with intellectual disability is associated with increased levels of maternal cytokines and chemokines during gestation. Molecular psychiatry. PMID: 27217154
Scientists have developed a powerful tool for exploring and determining the inherent biological differences between individuals, which overcomes a major hurdle for personalized medicine.
... Read more »
Rapport between a client and therapist is important for therapy to be successful, and part of that is agreeing about the aims of the exercise. You’d think this would include the therapist and client agreeing about the specific nature of the client’s psychological problems. In fact, a new study in Psychotherapy Research finds disagreement isn't harmful to therapy and can even be beneficial.Rolf Holmqvist and his colleagues recruited 846 therapy clients as they started a course of therapy at a........ Read more »
Holmqvist, R., Philips, B., & Mellor-Clark, J. (2015) Client and therapist agreement about the client's problems—Associations with treatment alliance and outcome. Psychotherapy Research, 26(4), 399-409. DOI: 10.1080/10503307.2015.1013160
Yellow haemorraghic fever (YF) is caused by Yellow Fever Virus (YFV), a prototype Flavivirus and as such as related to Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV), Dengue Virus (DENV) and Zika Virus (ZIKV). Similar to DENV and ZIKV, YFV is transmitted by Aedes agypti both in Africa and South America and clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic infections to multi organ failure and subsequent death.Here the current outbreak in Angola is discussed. ... Read more »
Wasserman S, Tambyah PA, & Lim PL. (2016) Yellow fever cases in Asia: primed for an epidemic. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. PMID: 27156836
Barrett AD. (2016) Yellow Fever in Angola and Beyond - The Problem of Vaccine Supply and Demand. The New England journal of medicine. PMID: 27276108
Amanna IJ, & Slifka MK. (2016) Questions regarding the safety and duration of immunity following live yellow fever vaccination. Expert review of vaccines. PMID: 27267203
Tilak R, Ray S, Tilak VW, & Mukherji S. (2016) Dengue, chikungunya … and the missing entity - Zika fever: A new emerging threat. Medical journal, Armed Forces India, 72(2), 157-63. PMID: 27257326
Carrington CV, & Auguste AJ. (2013) Evolutionary and ecological factors underlying the tempo and distribution of yellow fever virus activity. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 198-210. PMID: 22981999
Cathey, J., & Marr, J. (2014) Yellow fever, Asia and the East African slave trade. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 108(8), 519-519. DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/tru081
Bryant, J., Holmes, E., & Barrett, A. (2007) Out of Africa: A Molecular Perspective on the Introduction of Yellow Fever Virus into the Americas. PLoS Pathogens, 3(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.0030075
Tabachnick, W. (1991) Evolutionary Genetics and Arthropod-borne Disease: The Yellow Fever Mosquito. American Entomologist, 37(1), 14-26. DOI: 10.1093/ae/37.1.14
Theiler M, & Anderson CR. (1975) The relative resistance of dengue-immune monkeys to yellow fever virus. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 24(1), 115-7. PMID: 1111351
Agampodi, S., & Wickramage, K. (2013) Is There a Risk of Yellow Fever Virus Transmission in South Asian Countries with Hyperendemic Dengue?. BioMed Research International, 1-9. DOI: 10.1155/2013/905043
Xiao SY, Guzman H, da Rosa AP, Zhu HB, & Tesh RB. (2003) Alteration of clinical outcome and histopathology of yellow fever virus infection in a hamster model by previous infection with heterologous flaviviruses. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 68(6), 695-703. PMID: 12887029
"Not tonight, honey," says the female burying beetle, chewing up a mouthful of mouse carcass before spitting it into the mouth of a begging larva.
For the first few days of their babies' lives, burying beetles co-parent. They devote themselves to keeping their squirming larvae alive. That means mating and laying more eggs would be a waste of energy. And to make sure males get that message, females emit a pheromone that turns them off.
"It is quite surprising," says University of Ulm be... Read more »
Engel KC, Stökl J, Schweizer R, Vogel H, Ayasse M, Ruther J, & Steiger S. (2016) A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care. Nature communications, 11035. PMID: 27002429
In a fascinating new paper, researchers Hongmi Lee and Brice A. Kuhl report that they can decode faces from neural activity. Armed with a brain scanner, they can reconstruct which face a participant has in mind. It's a cool technique that really seems to fit the description of 'mind reading' - although the method's accuracy is only modest.
Here's how they did it. Lee and Kuhl started out with a set of over 1000 color photos of different faces. During an fMRI scan, these images were shown to... Read more »
Lee H, & Kuhl BA. (2016) Reconstructing Perceived and Retrieved Faces from Activity Patterns in Lateral Parietal Cortex. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(22), 6069-82. PMID: 27251627
Dong et al., (2016) have recently reported two BHD syndrome patients also affected with papillary thyroid cancer. Lesions were bilateral and multifocal and small lymph node metastases occurred. Due to the small number of patients in the study the authors are unsure whether thyroid cancer in BHD patients is susceptible to exhibiting bilaterally and lymph node metastasis. However, they suggest considering thyroidectomy and prophylactic lymph node dissection for thyroid cancer patients with BHD. Th........ Read more »
Dong L, Gao M, Hao WJ, Zheng XQ, Li YG, Li XL, & Yu Y. (2016) Case Report of Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome: Germline Mutations of FLCN Detected in Patients With Renal Cancer and Thyroid Cancer. Medicine, 95(22). PMID: 27258496
Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis is not something that I ever envisaged talking about so much on this blog primarily concerned with autism research. Describing an often severe form of encephalitis where the body mounts an immune response against self ("the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor"), this condition is more readily associated with the symptoms of psychosis than anything specifically autism-related.But yet again (see here and see here) I'm talking about peer-reviewed research suggestin........ Read more »
Hacohen Y, Wright S, Gadian J, Vincent A, Lim M, Wassmer E, & Lin JP. (2016) N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antibodies encephalitis mimicking an autistic regression. Developmental medicine and child neurology. PMID: 27255282
Abstraction is my favorite part of mathematics. I find a certain beauty in seeing structures without their implementations, or structures that are preserved across various implementations. And although it seems possible to reason through analogy without (explicit) abstraction, I would not enjoy being restricted in such a way. In biology and medicine, however, I often […]... Read more »
New research is giving a whole new meaning to feeling your skin crawl. Skin cells typically spend their entire existence in one place on your body. But researchers have seen how the cells will alter the proteins holding them in place and move to repair a wound.
... Read more »
Hiroyasu, S., Colburn, Z., & Jones, J. (2016) A hemidesmosomal protein regulates actin dynamics and traction forces in motile keratinocytes. The FASEB Journal, 30(6), 2298-2310. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500160R
Life on Earth was born in water. Then, about half a billion years ago, the first organisms stare colonizing lands that offered new spaces, less predators and, in time, abundant oxygen and nutrients. Still, the indissoluble bond that living organisms had with water remained, and in order to survive in this new environment plants and animals had to develop anatomical, physiological and behavioral adaptations to better obtain, manage and save water. Plant bodies, as well as ours, are mostly made of........ Read more »
Moore, J., Le, N., Brandt, W., Driouich, A., & Farrant, J. (2009) Towards a systems-based understanding of plant desiccation tolerance. Trends in Plant Science, 14(2), 110-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.11.007
Children respond better to learning setbacks when they believe that ability and intelligence are malleable – that is, when they have what psychologists call a "growth mindset" rather than a "fixed mindset". This immediately raises the question of how to cultivate a growth mindset in children.So far, there's been a lot of attention on how to praise children (it's better to focus on their effort and strategies rather than their ability), but not much else. Surprisingly, parents' mindsets (growth........ Read more »
Haimovitz K, & Dweck CS. (2016) What Predicts Children's Fixed and Growth Intelligence Mind-Sets? Not Their Parents' Views of Intelligence but Their Parents' Views of Failure. Psychological science. PMID: 27113733
"Another reason why pregnant women shouldn’t smoke: schizophrenia" went one media headline reporting on the findings by Solja Niemelä and colleagues  who concluded that their results were the "most definitive evidence to date that smoking during pregnancy is associated with schizophrenia."Analysing data from nearly 1000 people identified with schizophrenia whose information, and that of their mothers, were held in one of two databases - the Finnish Prenatal Study of Schizophrenia........ 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
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