Cats make good use of added vertical space, study shows.A study by Emma Desforges (Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition) et al finds that adding a vertical screen is good enrichment for cats. And while the study used cats that live at the Waltham research centre, the results suggest pet cats could benefit too.The scientists took an Ikea bookcase called Kallax in which the shelves are subdivided. They put half the backing on one side and half on the other, so that some shelves faced one way and the r........ Read more »
Desforges, E., Moesta, A., & Farnworth, M. (2016) Effect of a shelf-furnished screen on space utilisation and social behaviour of indoor group-housed cats (Felis silvestris catus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 60-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.03.006
Participants with rear foot valgus appear to have diminished blood flow to the Achilles in comparison to normal rear foot individuals. More research is needed to determine how we can clinically intervene.... Read more »
Karzis, K., Kalogeris, M., Mandalidis, D., Geladas, N., Karteroliotis, K., & Athanasopoulos, S. (2016) The effect of foot overpronation on Achilles tendon blood supply in healthy male subjects. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine . DOI: 10.1111/sms.12722
"Many individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have a distinctive behavioral presentation that is recognizable within moments, a phenomenon we call "frank" ASD." So said the paper by Ashley de Marchena & Judith Miller  who carried out an "empirical study of frank ASD" and by the looks of my Twitter feed when I initially posted about this study, there are quite a few varied opinions about the concept of 'frank' autism.Although 'frank autism' makes up a significant portion ........ Read more »
de Marchena, A., & Miller, J. (2016) “Frank” presentations as a novel research construct and element of diagnostic decision-making in autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research. DOI: 10.1002/aur.1706
Do you find gruyère gross? Are you repelled by roquefort?
Neuroscientists are now investigating why this might be. A new paper claims to reveal The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese.
French (heh) researchers Jean-Pierre Royet and colleagues used fMRI to scan 15 people who liked cheese and 15 who "hated" it. During the scan, the participants were shown images of cheese and were exposed to cheese odors.
The six neuro-cheeses were blue cheese, cheddar, goat cheese, gruyère, parmesan, ... Read more »
Royet JP, Meunier D, Torquet N, Mouly AM, & Jiang T. (2016) The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 511. PMID: 27799903
Contrary to Murphy's Law - 'never repeat a successful experiment' - replication or reproducibility is a cornerstone of good science. Today, I'm blogging about a piece of research that aimed to do just that as per the findings reported by Stephen Walker and colleagues  (open-access).The title of this post has been borrowed from the title of the Walker paper to illustrate how moving on from the quite widely known 'fact' that functional gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are over-represented wh........ Read more »
Walker SJ, Beavers DP, Fortunato J, & Krigsman A. (2016) A Putative Blood-Based Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Ileocolitis. Scientific reports, 35820. PMID: 27767057
Superman donned glasses to disguise himself and blend in with other people. One snake hides its identity using a similar trick: when threatened, it changes the shape of its pupils. This makes it resemble a much more dangerous animal.
The mock viper (Psammodynastes pulverulentus) is mild-mannered, not superpowered. It's common across much of Asia, and—as you might have guessed from its name—looks a lot like a viper. Actual vipers are a widespread family of venomous snakes. Like true v........ Read more »
Silva, I., Crane, M., Artchawakom, T., Suwanwaree, P., & Strine, C. (2016) More than meets the eye: change in pupil shape by a mock viper. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(8), 453-454. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1420
In humans, the most common infectious neuroteratogenic agents are summarised by the mnemonic “TORCH(S)” (Toxoplasmosis, Others, Rubella, (Human) Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex, Syphilis) with ZIKV either classified as “Others” or by expanding the mnemonic to TORCHSZ and indeed health authorities in affected countries regularly test cases of microcephaly suspected to be associated with neurological infections not only for ZIKV but also for the presence of TORCH(S). Microc........ Read more »
Yockey LJ, Varela L, Rakib T, Khoury-Hanold W, Fink SL, Stutz B, Szigeti-Buck K, Van den Pol A, Lindenbach BD, Horvath TL.... (2016) Vaginal Exposure to Zika Virus during Pregnancy Leads to Fetal Brain Infection. Cell, 166(5), 1247-12560000. PMID: 27565347
Bayless NL, Greenberg RS, Swigut T, Wysocka J, & Blish CA. (2016) Zika Virus Infection Induces Cranial Neural Crest Cells to Produce Cytokines at Levels Detrimental for Neurogenesis. Cell host , 20(4), 423-428. PMID: 27693308
El Costa H, Gouilly J, Mansuy JM, Chen Q, Levy C, Cartron G, Veas F, Al-Daccak R, Izopet J, & Jabrane-Ferrat N. (2016) ZIKA virus reveals broad tissue and cell tropism during the first trimester of pregnancy. Scientific reports, 35296. PMID: 27759009
Tabata T, Petitt M, Puerta-Guardo H, Michlmayr D, Wang C, Fang-Hoover J, Harris E, & Pereira L. (2016) Zika Virus Targets Different Primary Human Placental Cells, Suggesting Two Routes for Vertical Transmission. Cell host , 20(2), 155-66. PMID: 27443522
Quicke KM, Bowen JR, Johnson EL, McDonald CE, Ma H, O'Neal JT, Rajakumar A, Wrammert J, Rimawi BH, Pulendran B.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Placental Macrophages. Cell host , 20(1), 83-90. PMID: 27247001
Bayer A, Lennemann NJ, Ouyang Y, Bramley JC, Morosky S, Marques ET Jr, Cherry S, Sadovsky Y, & Coyne CB. (2016) Type III Interferons Produced by Human Placental Trophoblasts Confer Protection against Zika Virus Infection. Cell host , 19(5), 705-12. PMID: 27066743
Ning F, Liu H, & Lash GE. (2016) The Role of Decidual Macrophages During Normal and Pathological Pregnancy. American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989), 75(3), 298-309. PMID: 26750089
Lash GE, Pitman H, Morgan HL, Innes BA, Agwu CN, & Bulmer JN. (2016) Decidual macrophages: key regulators of vascular remodeling in human pregnancy. Journal of leukocyte biology, 100(2), 315-25. PMID: 26819320
Salamonsen LA, Hannan NJ, & Dimitriadis E. (2007) Cytokines and chemokines during human embryo implantation: roles in implantation and early placentation. Seminars in reproductive medicine, 25(6), 437-44. PMID: 17960528
Olagnier D, Amatore D, Castiello L, Ferrari M, Palermo E, Diamond MS, Palamara AT, & Hiscott J. (2016) Dengue Virus Immunopathogenesis: Lessons Applicable to the Emergence of Zika Virus. Journal of molecular biology, 428(17), 3429-48. PMID: 27130436
"Epilepsy was reported to co-occur in 8.6 % of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] cases."That was the headline conclusion reported by Shiny Thomas and colleagues  as they drew on data from "the most recent U.S. National Survey of Children's Health, 2011-2012" to add to the extensive literature looking at how common epilepsy is when it comes to autism.Including some 1600 children/young adults diagnosed with autism - equivalent to a prevalence of 1.8% of the entire 85,000-strong co........ Read more »
Thomas S, Hovinga ME, Rai D, & Lee BK. (2016) Brief Report: Prevalence of Co-occurring Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: The U.S. National Survey of Children's Health 2011-2012. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27752862
Elections are bad for your health. More than half of Americans, independently of their party preference, are stressed about upcoming elections, especially the oldest and the youngest voters. Social media is one of the major factors making this stress even worse. ... Read more »
Stanton SJ, Beehner JC, Saini EK, Kuhn CM, & Labar KS. (2009) Dominance, politics, and physiology: voters' testosterone changes on the night of the 2008 United States presidential election. PloS one, 4(10). PMID: 19844583
Markey, P., & Markey, C. (2011) Pornography-seeking behaviors following midterm political elections in the United States: A replication of the challenge hypothesis. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(3), 1262-1264. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.01.007
Waismel-Manor I, Ifergane G, & Cohen H. (2011) When endocrinology and democracy collide: emotions, cortisol and voting at national elections. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(11), 789-95. PMID: 21482457
Blanton, H., Strauts, E., & Perez, M. (2012) Partisan Identification as a Predictor of Cortisol Response to Election News. Political Communication, 29(4), 447-460. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2012.736239
Neiman J, Giuseffi K, Smith K, French J, Waismel-Manor I, & Hibbing J. (2015) Voting at Home Is Associated with Lower Cortisol than Voting at the Polls. PloS one, 10(9). PMID: 26335591
by Piter Kehoma Boll This information was known by me and some other people for quite a while, but only recently has caught attention of the general public. Obama is the newest threat in Europe. No, I’m not talking about the … Continue reading →... Read more »
Álvarez-Presas, M., Mateos, E., Tudó, À., Jones, H., & Riutort, M. (2014) Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale. PeerJ. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.430
Boll, P., & Leal-Zanchet, A. (2016) Preference for different prey allows the coexistence of several land planarians in areas of the Atlantic Forest. Zoology, 119(3), 162-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.zool.2016.04.002
Carbayo, F., Álvarez-Presas, M., Jones, H., & Riutort, M. (2016) The true identity of Obama (Platyhelminthes: Geoplanidae) flatworm spreading across Europe. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 177(1), 5-28. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12358
"This is the first study to identify the existence of sensory subtypes among older children and adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and explore their association with anxiety levels."Far be it from me to question the above quote provided in the paper by Mirko Uljarević and colleagues  but I'm inclined to suggest that there has already been some research published on the link between sensory issues and anxiety in the context of the autism spectrum before (see here and se........ Read more »
Uljarević M, Lane A, Kelly A, & Leekam S. (2016) Sensory subtypes and anxiety in older children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 9(10), 1073-1078. PMID: 26765165
Among the many factors that influence citation practice in scholarly communication, the language of publication plays a key role. A study by Argentine researchers showed that English articles receive more citations than those published in other languages. Despite being perceived by many as of lower quality and relevance, articles in Spanish from two Latin American journals were blind evaluated and were not, in fact, underqualified. … Read More →... Read more »
Di Bitetti, M., & Ferreras, J. (2016) Publish (in English) or perish: The effect on citation rate of using languages other than English in scientific publications. Ambio. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0820-7
Meneghini, R., Packer, A., & Nassi-Calò, L. (2008) Articles by Latin American Authors in Prestigious Journals Have Fewer Citations. PLoS ONE, 3(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003804
Meneghini, R., & Packer, A. (2007) Is there science beyond English? Initiatives to increase the quality and visibility of non-English publications might help to break down language barriers in scientific communication. EMBO reports, 8(2), 112-116. DOI: 10.1038/sj.embor.7400906
Furuya et al. (2016) present a new study describing genetic, epidemiologic and clinicopathologic features of 312 Asian individuals with BHD manifestations based on data from 120 probands from different families (119 Japanese and 1 Taiwanese), 36 siblingss with genetic testing and 156 siblings without genetic testing.... Read more »
Furuya M, Yao M, Tanaka R, Nagashima Y, Kuroda N, Hasumi H, Baba M, Matsushima J, Nomura F, & Nakatani Y. (2016) Genetic, epidemiologic and clinicopathologic studies of Japanese Asian patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. Clinical genetics, 90(5), 403-412. PMID: 27220747
by Piter Kehoma Boll Found throughout most of the world, you probably have encountered this fellow many times in your life, but did not pay any attention. After all, it is just a moss! Scientifically known as Bryum argenteum and popularly … Continue reading →... Read more »
Shaw, A., & Albright, D. (1990) Potential for the Evolution of Heavy Metal Tolerance in Bryum argenteum, a Moss. II. Generalized Tolerances among Diverse Populations. The Bryologist, 93(2), 187. DOI: 10.2307/3243622
The findings reported by Naushad Shaik Mohammad and colleagues  provide some blogging fodder today and the suggestion of a link between some of the genetics of the folate pathway and the finding of elevated levels of homocysteine with [some] autism in mind.OK, from the start, the genetics of folate metabolism mentioned in the context of autism typically means reference to the quite well replicated finding of issues with the gene methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) (see ........ Read more »
Shaik Mohammad N, Sai Shruti P, Bharathi V, Krishna Prasad C, Hussain T, Alrokayan SA, Naik U, & Radha Rama Devi A. (2016) Clinical utility of folate pathway genetic polymorphisms in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Psychiatric genetics. PMID: 27755291
Who of the three women in this image do you think German employers are most likely to consider as a...... Read more »
Arai, M., Bursell, M., & Nekby, L. (2016) The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Stereotypes of Men and Women with Arabic Names. International Migration Review, 50(2), 385-412. DOI: 10.1111/imre.12170
A new paper could prompt a rethink of a basic tenet of neuroscience. It is widely believed that the motor cortex, a region of the cerebral cortex, is responsible for producing movements, by sending instructions to other brain regions and ultimately to the spinal cord. But according to neuroscientists Christian Laut Ebbesen and colleagues, the truth may be the opposite: the motor cortex may equally well suppress movements.
Ebbesen et al. studied the vibrissa motor cortex (VMC) of the rat, ... Read more »
Ebbesen CL, Doron G, Lenschow C, & Brecht M. (2016) Vibrissa motor cortex activity suppresses contralateral whisking behavior. Nature Neuroscience. PMID: 27798633
"This study demonstrates an association between antibiotic use in the first year of life and subsequent neurocognitive outcomes in childhood."So said the findings reported by Slykerman and colleagues  who relied on data from the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative Study (an initiative set up to determine whether "internationally recognized risk factors for small-for-gestational-age (SGA) term babies were applicable in New Zealand") to examine the suggestion that early life antib........ Read more »
Slykerman RF, Thompson J, Waldie KE, Murphy R, Wall C, & Mitchell EA. (2016) Antibiotics in the first year of life and subsequent neurocognitive outcomes. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). PMID: 27701771
When I read things like this...... Read more »
Hollander K, Heidt C, van der Zwaard B, Braumann KM, & Zech A. (2016) Long-Term Effects of Habitual Barefoot Running and Walking: A Systematic Review. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 27801744
Aerobic exercise increases brain blood flow and has demonstrated beneficial effects on cognition.The effects of weight training exercise on the brain is less frequently studied. Hence, we know little about the effect and mechanism of weight training on brain function and performance.A recent study provides some needed insight on this topic.A study by C Suo and colleagues from Australia examined the effects of resistance training and cognitive skills training on brain structure and function.The k........ Read more »
Suo C, Singh MF, Gates N, Wen W, Sachdev P, Brodaty H, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Singh N.... (2016) Therapeutically relevant structural and functional mechanisms triggered by physical and cognitive exercise. Molecular psychiatry, 21(11), 1645. PMID: 27090304
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