Post List

  • October 10, 2016
  • 04:30 AM

Therapist-Directed Cognitive Rehabilitation Improved Functional Cognitive Outcomes

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

Four treatment strategies for chronic symptoms after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) improved symptoms; however, those with therapist-directed cognitive rehabilitation demonstrated superior improvements in functional cognitive scores compared with standard of care and computer-based rehabilitation.... Read more »

  • October 9, 2016
  • 03:07 PM

New sensor material could enable more sensitive readings of biological signals

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

High-tech prosthetics, computers that are controlled by thought, the ability to walk or even move again, these are just a few of the promises of technology. Unfortunately, while the tech is -- mostly -- up to the challenge, getting the biology side of things to cooperate has been difficult at best, but that could change. Now, scientists have created a material that could make reading biological signals, from heartbeats to brainwaves, much more sensitive.

... Read more »

Giovannitti, A., Nielsen, C., Sbircea, D., Inal, S., Donahue, M., Niazi, M., Hanifi, D., Amassian, A., Malliaras, G., Rivnay, J.... (2016) N-type organic electrochemical transistors with stability in water. Nature Communications, 13066. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13066  

  • October 8, 2016
  • 03:15 PM

That time 20,000 jellyfish orbited Earth

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Why did NASA put jellyfish aboard the space shuttle in the 1990s? I discuss the reasoning behind this experimentand the results.... Read more »

Spangenberg, D., Jernigan, T., McCombs, R., Lowe, B., Sampson, M., & Slusser, J. (1994) Development studies of Aurelia (Jellyfish) ephyrae which developed during the SLS-1 mission. Advances in Space Research, 14(8), 239-247. DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(94)90408-1  

  • October 8, 2016
  • 02:31 PM

Concentrating on the social billions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using online social media does not lead to long-term problems with our ability to concentrate, according to new research. We are social animals, so it is really no surprise that billions of us now use online tools to communicate, educate and inform each other. The advent of social media and social networking has nevertheless been phenomenally rapid.

... Read more »

Doss, S., Carstens, D., & Kies, S. (2016) Episodic social media impact on users. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 4(3), 273. DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2016.079505  

  • October 8, 2016
  • 03:27 AM

Pregnancy hypertension and offspring autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Hypertension in pregnancy was associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in this population even after controlling for known confounders."So said the findings reported by Eileen Curran and colleagues [1] who, once again (see here), relied on "data from the Millennium Cohort Study" to produce some potentially important information about how adverse pregnancy conditions may/may not impact on offspring behaviour and development.Hypertension (a.k.a high blood pressure) during pre........ Read more »

Eileen A. Curran, Ali S. Khashan, Gerard W. O’Keeffe, & Louise C. Kenny. (2016) 35 Hypertension in pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in a British cohort. regnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health., 153. info:/

  • October 7, 2016
  • 04:01 PM

ZIKV and ocular infections

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Although being first isolated in 1947 from a sentinel rhesus monkey in forests of Uganda, until 2007 Zika Virus (ZIKV) outbreaks have been sporadic, being limited to tropical regions in Africa as well as Southeast Asia and only been associated with relative mild symptoms in about 20% of infected people. Autochthonous transmission of ZIKV outside these areas was only reported in 2007 in the Federal States of Micronesia (FSM), 2013 in French Polynesia, and in 2015 in South America, spreading to th........ Read more »

Ventura CV, Maia M, Travassos SB, Martins TT, Patriota F, Nunes ME, Agra C, Torres VL, van der Linden V, Ramos RC.... (2016) Risk Factors Associated With the Ophthalmoscopic Findings Identified in Infants With Presumed Zika Virus Congenital Infection. JAMA ophthalmology, 134(8), 912-8. PMID: 27228275  

Furtado JM, Espósito DL, Klein TM, Teixeira-Pinto T, & da Fonseca BA. (2016) Uveitis Associated with Zika Virus Infection. The New England journal of medicine, 375(4), 394-6. PMID: 27332784  

Grant A, Ponia SS, Tripathi S, Balasubramaniam V, Miorin L, Sourisseau M, Schwarz MC, Sánchez-Seco MP, Evans MJ, Best SM.... (2016) Zika Virus Targets Human STAT2 to Inhibit Type I Interferon Signaling. Cell host , 19(6), 882-90. PMID: 27212660  

Khairallah M, Chee SP, Rathinam SR, Attia S, & Nadella V. (2010) Novel infectious agents causing uveitis. International ophthalmology, 30(5), 465-83. PMID: 19711015  

Goodfellow F, Tesla B, Simchick G, Hodge T, Zhao Q, Brindley MA, & Stice SL. (2016) Zika Virus Induced Mortality and Microcephaly in Chicken Embryos. Stem cells and development. PMID: 27627457  

Miner JJ, Sene A, Richner JM, Smith AM, Santeford A, Ban N, Weger-Lucarelli J, Manzella F, Rückert C, Govero J.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection in Mice Causes Panuveitis with Shedding of Virus in Tears. Cell reports, 16(12), 3208-18. PMID: 27612415  

Lazear HM, Govero J, Smith AM, Platt DJ, Fernandez E, Miner JJ, & Diamond MS. (2016) A Mouse Model of Zika Virus Pathogenesis. Cell host , 19(5), 720-30. PMID: 27066744  

Rossi SL, Tesh RB, Azar SR, Muruato AE, Hanley KA, Auguste AJ, Langsjoen RM, Paessler S, Vasilakis N, & Weaver SC. (2016) Characterization of a Novel Murine Model to Study Zika Virus. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 94(6), 1362-9. PMID: 27022155  

Varkey JB, Shantha JG, Crozier I, Kraft CS, Lyon GM, Mehta AK, Kumar G, Smith JR, Kainulainen MH, Whitmer S.... (2015) Persistence of Ebola Virus in Ocular Fluid during Convalescence. The New England journal of medicine, 372(25), 2423-7. PMID: 25950269  

  • October 7, 2016
  • 01:57 PM

First demonstration of brain-inspired device to power artificial systems

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

New research has demonstrated that a nanoscale device, called a memristor, could be used to power artificial systems that can mimic the human brain. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) exhibit learning abilities and can perform tasks which are difficult for conventional computing systems, such as pattern recognition, on-line learning and classification.

... Read more »

  • October 7, 2016
  • 03:11 AM

Is parental age difference important for offspring autism and schizophrenia risk?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In answer to the question that titles this post on whether parental age differences at offspring conception might matter when it comes to offspring risk of autism or schizophrenia, the answer is very possibly. As the paper by Byars & Boomsma [1] (open-access) reports: "Our study shows that autistic and schizophrenic disorder risks tend to be higher, in more dissimilarly aged parents, relative to parents with the most similar ages." This age disparity issue has been mentioned previously in th........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2016
  • 01:48 PM

Mental illness genetically linked to drug use and misuse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There are many reports of drug use leading to mental health problems, and we all know of someone having a few too many drinks to cope with a bad day. Many people who are diagnosed with a mental health disorder indulge in drugs, and vice versa. As severity of both increase, problems arise and they become more difficult to treat. But why substance involvement and psychiatric disorders often co-occur is not well understood.

... Read more »

Carey, C., Agrawal, A., Bucholz, K., Hartz, S., Lynskey, M., Nelson, E., Bierut, L., & Bogdan, R. (2016) Associations between Polygenic Risk for Psychiatric Disorders and Substance Involvement. Frontiers in Genetics. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00149  

  • October 6, 2016
  • 04:30 AM

Ankle Injury Prevention Programs Work

by Kyle Kosik in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Prevention programs focused on reducing the risk of ankle injury are effective for soccer athletes.... Read more »

  • October 6, 2016
  • 03:01 AM

Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Biomarker studies of PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid] and treatment studies of n-3 [omega-3] PUFA in bipolar disorder show promise for indicating a way forward in the study of PUFA in bipolar disorder."I don't want to labour any points raised by the review of studies published by Erika Saunders and colleagues [1] looking at fatty acids and bipolar disorder but there does seem to be a familiar ring to the current evidence base on how for at least 'some' cases of bipolar diso........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2016
  • 02:14 PM

Scientists find new path in brain to ease depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists have discovered a new pathway in the brain that can be manipulated to alleviate depression. The pathway offers a promising new target for developing a drug that could be effective in individuals for whom other antidepressants have failed. New antidepressant options are important because a significant number of patients don't adequately improve with currently available antidepressant drugs.

... Read more »

  • October 5, 2016
  • 12:00 PM

When Animals Tell the Truth: Honest Signalling Theory

by Awwducational in Awwducational

Honest signalling Theory. Why would animals tell the truth? Is it strong moral fiber? Maybe they paid really close attention when their mother told them the story of the boy who cried wolf? It's actually about self preservation.

Signalling theory states that animals send out signals that benefit themselves. Honest signalling theory states when an animal tells the truth , eg: sends a signal that says 'I'm healthy' when the animal is actually healthy, it does so to avoid a p........ Read more »

Blount JD, Speed MP, Ruxton GD, & Stephens PA. (2009) Warning displays may function as honest signals of toxicity. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 276(1658), 871-7. PMID: 19019790  

  • October 5, 2016
  • 09:06 AM

Of microbes and men: Evolving as one and terraforming earth

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Me and my microbes In the past decade or so, the microbiota, the community of microbes that makes its home in the guts of humans and other animals, has become quite a popular research topic. Quite rightly so, since our little guests seem to affect aspects of our lives that we wouldn’t necessarily consider to […]... Read more »

Faria VG, Martins NE, Magalhães S, Paulo TF, Nolte V, Schlötterer C, Sucena É, & Teixeira L. (2016) Drosophila Adaptation to Viral Infection through Defensive Symbiont Evolution. PLoS genetics, 12(9). PMID: 27684942  

Solé RV, Montañez R, & Duran-Nebreda S. (2015) Synthetic circuit designs for earth terraformation. Biology direct, 37. PMID: 26187273  

  • October 5, 2016
  • 04:34 AM

"a low prevalence of definite pathology in children with autism spectrum disorder undergoing brain MRI"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The quote: "a low prevalence of definite pathology in children with autism spectrum disorder undergoing brain MRI [magnetic resonance imaging]" heading up today's post is taken from the paper by Alison Cooper and colleagues [1] who among other things, examined whether MRI picked up anything 'useful' when it came to autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their cohort. MRI, by the way, refers to the fantastic imaging technology that provides those rather detailed pictures of our inner bod........ Read more »

Cooper AS, Friedlaender E, Levy SE, Shekdar KV, Bradford AB, Wells KE, & Mollen C. (2016) The Implications of Brain MRI in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of child neurology. PMID: 27629267  

  • October 5, 2016
  • 04:30 AM

Want Better Clinical Outcomes? Try to Motivate Your Patient

by Kyle Harris in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Patients who return to pre-injury activities one year after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction reported being more motivated prior to and during the rehabilitation process to return to these activities than athletes who did not return to pre-injury activities.... Read more »

  • October 4, 2016
  • 05:36 PM

Revising the meaning of 'prion'

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of scientists are redefining what it means to be a prion--a type of protein that can pass heritable traits from cell to cell by its structure instead of by DNA. Although prions are infamous for causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, fatal familial insomnia, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow's disease, the present study indicates that prions identified in yeast, and possibly in plants, and other organisms may be beneficial.

... Read more »

Chakrabortee, S., Byers, J., Jones, S., Garcia, D., Bhullar, B., Chang, A., She, R., Lee, L., Fremin, B., Lindquist, S.... (2016) Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Drive Emergence and Inheritance of Biological Traits. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.017  

  • October 4, 2016
  • 09:05 AM

Propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections: Aerodynamic Drag by Nishtha Sachdeva and Prasad Subramanian

by CESRA in Solar Radio Science

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are hot, massive blobs of plasma and magnetic fields that erupt from the Sun, and are sometimes Earth-directed. Depending on their speed and mass these transients can strongly effect the space weather, causing geomagnetic storms and damage to space bound technologies. It is therefore imperative to [...]... Read more »

Sachdeva, N., Subramanian, P., Colaninno, R., et al.,. (2015) Propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections: Aerodynamic Drag. Astrophysical Journal, 158. info:/

  • October 4, 2016
  • 04:34 AM

Humour training for autism - is it needed and is it useful?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Can we and should we formally 'teach' humour to people diagnosed on the autism spectrum? Indeed, do we actually need to?Yes said the results of the study published by Ching-Lin Wu and colleagues [1] although I personally am not so impressed.Discussing how their results "supported the effectiveness of the 15-hour training" regime, Wu et al report that for a small group of adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "and average intelligence" moves to implement "a humor-knowl........ Read more »

  • October 3, 2016
  • 10:03 PM

ZIKV and microcephaly: African and Asian isolates and infection of the vaginal mucosa

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

The recent emergence of Zika Virus (ZIKV) in the Americas has been associated with abnormal brain development of the foetal brain leading to microcephaly, other neurological abnormalities, severe depilation of neonates and foetal or neonatal death. it should be noted however that so far in the most affected countries -Brazil and Colombia- only a subset of all reported cases of microcephaly have been shown to be tested positive for ZIKV suggesting that other factors also may play a role in the ob........ Read more »

Simonin Y, Loustalot F, Desmetz C, Foulongne V, Constant O, Fournier-Wirth C, Leon F, Molès JP, Goubaud A, Lemaitre JM.... (2016) Zika Virus Strains Potentially Display Different Infectious Profiles in Human Neural Cells. EBioMedicine. PMID: 27688094  

de Araújo TV, Rodrigues LC, de Alencar Ximenes RA, de Barros Miranda-Filho D, Montarroyos UR, de Melo AP, Valongueiro S, de Albuquerque MF, Souza WV, Braga C.... (2016) Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study. The Lancet. Infectious diseases. PMID: 27641777  

Cugola FR, Fernandes IR, Russo FB, Freitas BC, Dias JL, Guimarães KP, Benazzato C, Almeida N, Pignatari GC, Romero S.... (2016) The Brazilian Zika virus strain causes birth defects in experimental models. Nature, 534(7606), 267-71. PMID: 27279226  

Hamel R, Dejarnac O, Wichit S, Ekchariyawat P, Neyret A, Luplertlop N, Perera-Lecoin M, Surasombatpattana P, Talignani L, Thomas F.... (2015) Biology of Zika Virus Infection in Human Skin Cells. Journal of virology, 89(17), 8880-96. PMID: 26085147  

Hamel R, Liégeois F, Wichit S, Pompon J, Diop F, Talignani L, Thomas F, Desprès P, Yssel H, & Missé D. (2016) Zika virus: epidemiology, clinical features and host-virus interactions. Microbes and infection, 18(7-8), 441-9. PMID: 27012221  

Miner, J., Cao, B., Govero, J., Smith, A., Fernandez, E., Cabrera, O., Garber, C., Noll, M., Klein, R., Noguchi, K.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection during Pregnancy in Mice Causes Placental Damage and Fetal Demise. Cell, 165(5), 1081-1091. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.008  

Tang H, Hammack C, Ogden SC, Wen Z, Qian X, Li Y, Yao B, Shin J, Zhang F, Lee EM.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Progenitors and Attenuates Their Growth. Cell stem cell, 18(5), 587-90. PMID: 26952870  

Machado-Alba JE, Machado-Duque ME, Gaviria-Mendoza A, & Orozco-Giraldo V. (2016) Diagnosis of Neurological Disorders and Zika virus epidemic in Colombia 2014 -2016. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. PMID: 27637419  

Coelho, F., Durovni, B., Saraceni, V., Lemos, C., Codeco, C., Camargo, S., Carvalho, L., Bastos, L., Arduini, D., Villela, D.... (2016) Higher incidence of Zika in adult women in Rio de Janeiro suggests a significant contribution of sexual transmission from men to women. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.08.023  

Li C, Xu D, Ye Q, Hong S, Jiang Y, Liu X, Zhang N, Shi L, Qin CF, & Xu Z. (2016) Zika Virus Disrupts Neural Progenitor Development and Leads to Microcephaly in Mice. Cell stem cell, 19(1), 120-6. PMID: 27179424  

Jurado KA, Simoni MK, Tang Z, Uraki R, Hwang J, Householder S, Wu M, Lindenbach BD, Abrahams VM, Guller S.... (2016) Zika virus productively infects primary human placenta-specific macrophages. JCI insight, 1(13). PMID: 27595140  

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  

Driggers RW, Ho CY, Korhonen EM, Kuivanen S, Jääskeläinen AJ, Smura T, Rosenberg A, Hill DA, DeBiasi RL, Vezina G.... (2016) Zika Virus Infection with Prolonged Maternal Viremia and Fetal Brain Abnormalities. The New England journal of medicine, 374(22), 2142-51. PMID: 27028667  

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  

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