Brain inflammation produces a variety of emotional, behavior and cognitive symptoms.I remember clearly a patient I cared for with central nervous system lupus erythrematosis (SLE). With SLE flairs she developed flagrant psychotic symptoms including hallucinations requiring inpatient psychiatric care.Between flares she had no significant psychiatric symptoms.Nicole Castanon and two colleagues from France have published a review of the role of obesity-associated inflammation and brain dysfunction......... Read more »
Castanon N, Lasselin J, & Capuron L. (2014) Neuropsychiatric comorbidity in obesity: role of inflammatory processes. Frontiers in endocrinology, 74. PMID: 24860551
SUMMARY: A recent study by a research team in Scotland reveals that birds intentionally choose colour-matching materials to camouflage their nests thereby reducing predation risk. Read more... Read more »
We've all had that experience of going purposefully from one room to another, only to get there and forget why we made the journey. Four years ago, researcher Gabriel Radvansky and his colleagues stripped this effect down, showing that the simple act of passing through a doorway induces forgetting. Now psychologists at Knox College, USA, have taken things further, demonstrating that merely imagining walking through a doorway is enough to trigger increased forgetfulness. Zachary Lawrence and Dani........ Read more »
Lawrence, Z., & Peterson, D. (2014) Mentally walking through doorways causes forgetting: The location updating effect and imagination. Memory, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2014.980429
Last fall there was a tip I did on Docker, which was starting to pick up a lot of chatter around the genoscenti. It was starting to look like a good solution for some of the problems of reproducibility and re-use of software in genomics–containerize it. Box it up, hand it off. There’s certainly a […]... Read more »
Veras Adonney, Vasco Azevedo, Artur Silva, Rommel Ramos, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University Pará, Belém, Pará, & Brazil. (2013) AutoAssemblyD: a graphical user interface system for several genome assemblers. Bioinformation, 9(16), 840-841. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6026/97320630009840
Hildebrandt A. K., N. M. Fischer, L. de la Garza, J. Kruger, S. Nickels, M. Rottig, C. Scharfe, M. Schumann, P. Thiel, & H.-P. Lenhof. (2014) ballaxy: web services for structural bioinformatics. Bioinformatics, 31(1), 121-122. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btu574
Researchers test the bond between captive wolf pups and the humans who rear them.Photo: Geoffrey Kuchera / ShutterstockWe all think our dogs form attachments to us, but previous studies with wolf pups have suggested they don’t attach to their caregiver in the same way. While a 16-week old puppy is already attached to its owner, scientists found the same is not true of a 16-week old wolf. However, the way the wolf pup is raised and the age of testing may have an effect. New research by Nathanie........ Read more »
Gácsi M, Maros K, Sernkvist S, Faragó T, & Miklósi A. (2013) Human analogue safe haven effect of the owner: behavioural and heart rate response to stressful social stimuli in dogs. PloS one, 8(3). PMID: 23469283
Hall, N.J., Lord, K., Arnold, A-M.K., Wynne, C.D.L., & Udell, M. (2015) Assessment of attachment behaviours to human caregivers in wolf pups (Canis lupus lupus). Behavioural Processes , 15-21. info:/
Plants can be moved by wind and water. Their pollen and seeds can be moved by insects, wind, gravity, but plants themselves don't have motile cells. Well – that’s not always true. Some trees have swimming cells; they take the plunge in order to find a mate.... Read more »
Suinyuy, T., Donaldson, J., & Johnson, S. (2013) Patterns of odour emission, thermogenesis and pollinator activity in cones of an African cycad: what mechanisms apply?. Annals of Botany, 112(5), 891-902. DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct159
Vaughn, K., & Renzaglia, K. (2006) Structural and immunocytochemical characterization of the Ginkgo biloba L. sperm motility apparatus. Protoplasma, 227(2-4), 165-173. DOI: 10.1007/s00709-005-0141-3
Murch, S., Cox, P., & Banack, S. (2004) A mechanism for slow release of biomagnified cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease in Guam. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(33), 12228-12231. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0404926101
defensive symbiosis in aphids... Read more »
Vorburger C. (2014) The evolutionary ecology of symbiont-conferred resistance to parasitoids in aphids. Insect science, 21(3), 251-64. PMID: 24167113
Moran, N., Degnan, P., Santos, S., Dunbar, H., & Ochman, H. (2005) The players in a mutualistic symbiosis: Insects, bacteria, viruses, and virulence genes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(47), 16919-16926. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0507029102
Oliver KM, Russell JA, Moran NA, & Hunter MS. (2003) Facultative bacterial symbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitic wasps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(4), 1803-7. PMID: 12563031
Here’s an odd counter-intuitive research finding. You might think that, if you have a gay or lesbian client, other minorities (like racial or ethnic minorities, for example) would be a good bet for your jury. It only makes sense that those who have experienced discrimination themselves would be more tolerant toward members of other oppressed […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t deplete me
Simple Jury Persuasion: She reminds me of my Grandmother…
Simple Jury Persuasion:........ Read more »
Craig, M., & Richeson, J. (2014) Discrimination divides across identity dimensions: Perceived racism reduces support for gay rights and increases anti-gay bias. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 169-174. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.07.008
For the past couple of years I've been tracking some rather interesting publications coming out of data from Jamaica on the topic of autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically looking at the possible overlap between genes and various environmental factors. I thought now would be a good time to bring this collection of papers to the blogging table and summarise their findings based on the analysis of data collected from The Jamaican Autism study. The fact that their latest res........ Read more »
Rahbar MH, Samms-Vaughan M, Loveland KA, Pearson DA, Bressler J, Chen Z, Ardjomand-Hessabi M, Shakespeare-Pellington S, Grove ML, Beecher C.... (2012) Maternal and paternal age are jointly associated with childhood autism in Jamaica. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 42(9), 1928-38. PMID: 22230961
Women who take oral contraceptives are less likely to sustain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury than women who do not.... Read more »
Rahr-Wagner, L., Thillemann, T., Mehnert, F., Pedersen, A., & Lind, M. (2014) Is the Use of Oral Contraceptives Associated With Operatively Treated Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury?: A Case-Control Study From the Danish Knee Ligament Reconstruction Registry. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(12), 2897-2905. DOI: 10.1177/0363546514557240
“You may have heard of oxytocin as the “moral molecule” or the “hug hormone” or the “cuddle chemical”. Unleashed by hugs, available in a handy nasal spray, and possessed with the ability to boost trust, empathy and a laundry list of virtues, it is apparently the cure to all the world’s social ills. Except it’s […]... Read more »
Christensen, J., Shiyanov, P., Estepp, J., & Schlager, J. (2014) Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Paradigm. PLoS ONE, 9(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116172
As we’ve seen from research featured here at the lab, there are many genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability and autism. Historically, these were viewed as untreatable. However, in recent years we have shown via animal models that it is possible to reverse the effects of these gene mutations. But the question remained whether different gene mutations disrupt common physiological processes. If this were the case, a treatment developed for one genetic cause of autism and intellectua........ Read more »
Tian, D., Stoppel, L., Heynen, A., Lindemann, L., Jaeschke, G., Mills, A., & Bear, M. (2015) Contribution of mGluR5 to pathophysiology in a mouse model of human chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3911
As you read this, thread-like viruses less than one micron in length are spreading through human populations in West Africa, taking lives, wrecking communities and generally creating havoc in the countries affected. Infection with the Ebola virus results in an … Continue reading »The post Publishing to Keep up with Ebola appeared first on PLOS Biologue.... Read more »
Drake JM, Kaul RB, Alexander LW, O’Regan SM, Kramer AM, Pulliam JT, Ferrari MJ, Park AW. (2015) Ebola Cases and Health System Demand in Liberia. PLoS Biology, 13(1). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002056
A perennially fascinating question to scientists is how animals get liquids into their faces without cups, straws or hands. In recent years they've cracked the puzzle in dogs and cats, two creatures that often do their noisy drinking near us. Bees, too, sip nectar in plain sight of humans. But their methods are more subtle and mysterious.
Shaoze Yan, a mechanical engineering professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues took a very close look at Italian honeybees ... Read more »
Wu J, Zhu R, Yan S, & Yang Y. (2015) Erection pattern and section-wise wettability of a honeybee's glossal hairs in nectar feeding. The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 25573821
As dependent on electricity as America is, it is surprising how easily it could be taken away. Do you know how electricity comes to your house? Here is the national electrical grid easily explained and the points at which it can be vulnerable to sun, weather, and terrorism.... Read more »
Paul W. Parfomak. (2014) Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations . Congressional Research Service Reports. info:/
Bashan, A., Berezin, Y., Buldyrev, S., & Havlin, S. (2013) The extreme vulnerability of interdependent spatially embedded networks. Nature Physics, 9(10), 667-672. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2727
Interpreting cemeteries in order to understand the living population is a dangerous and difficult task. On the one hand, cemeteries are really our only form of information about the actual […]... Read more »
Fernández-Crespo, T., & de-la-Rúa, C. (2015) Demographic evidence of selective burial in megalithic graves of northern Spain. Journal of Archaeological Science, 604-617. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.015
Levels of trait "openness to experience"are higher in central London than otherareas of the city. Image from PNAS. It is surely easier to be happy in some neighbourhoods than others. But a new study suggests one size does not fit all. Based on data from 56,000 Londoners collected by a BBC initiative, Markus Jokela and his colleagues report that the correlations between different personality dimensions and life satisfaction vary across the capital. The researchers say this shows "finding the........ Read more »
Jokela, M., Bleidorn, W., Lamb, M., Gosling, S., & Rentfrow, P. (2015) Geographically varying associations between personality and life satisfaction in the London metropolitan area. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201415800. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415800112
Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues  suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by mea........ Read more »
Viruses are important in making us smarter by improving the basic functions of the brain, especially the regulation of gene expressions.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have found that millions of year’s old inherited viruses can have special impact on the development of complex networks in the brain of human beings.
Previously, it was clear that endogenous retroviruses make nearly 5% of DNA of human beings,........ Read more »
Fasching, L., Kapopoulou, A., Sachdeva, R., Petri, R., Jönsson, M., Männe, C., Turelli, P., Jern, P., Cammas, F., Trono, D.... (2015) TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells. Cell Reports, 10(1), 20-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.12.004
Passion and motivation are strange and confusing facets of being. Many things about them feel paradoxical. For example, I really enjoy writing, categorizing, and — obviously, if you’ve read many of the introductory paragraphs on TheEGG — blabbing on far too long about myself. So you’d expect that I would have been extremely motivated to […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. arXiv: 1405.0041v1
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