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  • July 31, 2015
  • 05:01 AM
  • 2 views

Of the importance of giving opportunities to practice

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Teaching and Oceanography

When you are short on time and want to teach as much as possible in a given time, how do you allocate time to different activities and are there any that you might be able to drop? Classically, practice is … Continue reading →... Read more »

Martin, F., Klein, J., & Sullivan, H. (2007) The impact of instructional elements in computer-based instruction. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4), 623-636. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00670.x  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 04:13 AM
  • 3 views

Everolimus: a new treatment for BHD renal cancer?

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Last week the US National Cancer Institute announced a phase II clinical trial to test everolimus, a derivative of rapamycin, in BHD patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The trial is also open to sporadic chromophobe RCC (chRCC) patients. Approximately 85% of BHD-RCC is either chRCC or a chromophobe-oncocytoma hybrid (Pavlovich et al., 2002), but there are no effective treatments available for this RCC subtype. Instead BHD patients undergo partial nephrectomies to excise tumours – while not often impacting greatly on renal function, repetitive surgeries can increase morbidity risks. It is hoped that cancer drugs, such as everolimus, can offer a valid alternative treatment.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 03:34 AM
  • 7 views

Careful now: oral colostrum MAF and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I should perhaps begin this slightly longer than usual post by reiterating my well-trodden caveat on this blog about not giving anything that looks, sounds or smells like medical or clinical advice during my musings. This is a blog [mainly] about peer-reviewed science, nothing more. Added to that, I'm not your Dr Ross and you are not my patient.So... I've been seeing quite a bit about Gc-MAF (Gc Macrophage Activating Factor) in the news recently. The various headlines about autism and Gc-MAF (see here and see here) have made up the bulk of media coverage but other reports of scientific retractions (see here) have similarly filled some column inches in recent times.Whilst treading carefully in this area, Gc-MAF has cropped up on this blog a few times based on some of the peer-reviewed literature with autism in mind (see here and see here for further information including what Gc-MAF is). Even Drs Hornig & Lipkin have mentioned Gc-MAF and its precursors in other non peer-reviewed literature (see here). Indeed, given the straddling of autism research and studies on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) by Drs Hornig and Lipkin, it is timely that I discuss the paper from Toshio Inui and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) detailing a few case studies suggesting that: "oral colostrum MAF can be used for serious infection and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) without adverse effects."OK. First things first. Oral colostrum MAF is, we are told, a "new form of macrophage-activating factor (MAF) made from colostrum in collaboration with the Tokushima University." Macrophages are known as the 'big eaters' of the immune system getting rid of various molecular debris including viruses, bacteria and the odd 'worn out cell'. The Star Wars version (yes, you heard/read me right) of the role of macrophages can be read in this article [2] by Debra Laskin. Gc-MAF as the name implies is an 'activating factor' for macrophages, also seemingly affected by something called nagalase."This new form, referred to as colostrum MAF, is manufactured using bovine colostrum instead of human serum. It is administered orally in an acid-resistant enteric capsule to activate macrophages in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and as a powder in the mouth to activate macrophages in the lymphoid tissue of the mouth and throat."Given the immune system / macrophage slant to colostrum MAF, the authors moved into the area of CFS and the idea that: "infections and immune dysfunction are thought to play a critical role in the development of the disease." I'll chip in here and reiterate that science does seem to be moving closer to the idea that CFS (and myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME) has origins in organic disease albeit still a little undecided as to what factors are involved. On that basis, two of the three case reports detailed in the Inui paper are on adults with CFS and their experiences of colostrum MAF.Focusing on those two case reports - both females - they were reported to show some pretty interesting effects concurrent to the use of colostrum MAF. Statements like "reduced malaise" and "being able to do her usual work with more energy like most other people do" are included in the text, even accompanied by "improvements in hair growth on her head." The authors attempt to link such changes to increased phagocytosis. They suggest further work is needed to "elucidate the mechanisms by which MAF has beneficial effects."These are interesting results but I'm afraid that I need a little more convincing on safety and efficacy yet. Case reports, as I've mentioned in the context of autism (a heterogeneous condition), can provide some really informative data about a specific person diagnosed with a particular condition as a starting point for further investigations more generalised to more people in those specific circumstances. That same logic applies to the Inui findings and the need for further controlled studies on the potential effects of colostrum MAF including specific measures of fatigue and other symptom changes as a result of any intervention(s). This also includes the need for a little more information about the biology behind any reported changes and longer-term, what any effects might be bearing in mind where it comes from. Without casting aspersions, one needs to remember how powerful even a placebo can be (see here).Insofar as the comments about hair regrowth in relation to CFS, whilst I have heard that hair loss is not uncommon (see here) I can't yet find anything in the peer-reviewed domain specifically about this phenomenon. This doesn't mean that co-occurring issues alongside a diagnosis of CFS might not involve such a symptom but as far as I am aware, it is not a primary part of the [current] diagnostic criteria. In order to avoid any mis-interpretations about colostrum MAF being the next hair growth agent of choice, in future studies I would like to see a little more 'controlled' scientific engagement over such processes.It is as easy to get carried away with the Inui results as it is to pooh-pooh the findings, particularly in light of all that media coverage of Gc-MAF recently. Throughout the whole history of this compound and now colostrum MAF, there has been a tendency to make some pretty big claims often at the expense of really methodologically sound objective science. Given however the ways and means that a condition like CFS can impact on a person - disable a person - I would suggest that this might be an occasion where sound independent research can come take a lead and put some scientific flesh on the bones on any effect or not.Music: Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe.----------[1] Inui T. et al. Oral Colostrum Macrophage-activating Factor for Serious Infection and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Three Case Reports. Anticancer Res. 2015 Aug;35(8):4545-9.[2] Laskin DL. Macrophages and inflammatory mediators in chemical toxicity: a battle of forces. Chem Res Toxicol. 2009 Aug;22(8):1376-85.----------... Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:10 PM
  • 25 views

Lax standards at PLOS One for peer review of CAM research papers?

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Serious question: has the peer review system at the PLOS journals been doing a less-than-stellar job when it comes to evaluating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research for publication? If the answer is 'yes', why? Or if 'no', how does a paper like this go through PLOS ONE without some serious revisions?... Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 01:55 PM
  • 20 views

Paralyzed men move legs with new non-invasive spinal cord stimulation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Five men with complete motor paralysis were able to voluntarily generate step-like movements thanks to a new strategy that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to their spinal cords. The strategy, called transcutaneous stimulation, delivers electrical current to the spinal cord by way of electrodes strategically placed on the skin of the lower back.... Read more »

Gerasimenko, Y., Lu, D., Modaber, M., Zdunowski, S., Gad, P., Sayenko, D., Morikawa, E., Haakana, P., Ferguson, A., Roy, R.... (2015) Noninvasive Reactivation of Motor Descending Control after Paralysis. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/neu.2015.4008  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 01:10 PM
  • 21 views

A tough bacterium that lives in poisoned soils and pulls gold out of water

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Cupriavidus metallidurans (roughly translated: lover of copper, enduring metal) is a bacterium of the class Betaproteobacteria known for its ability to withstand high concentrations of numerous metals that would be toxic to most other living things. These metals, which include Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sr, Tl, U, and Zn, tend to cause problems for bacterial cells by binding to DNA or proteins, which can disrupt important stuff like obtaining energy or reproducing.The bacterium has in its possession a large set of chromosome- and plasmid-based metal resistance genes that encode various efflux systems (e.g. P-type ATPases). These work to minimize the adverse impact of metal ions, which sneak inside cells on a regular basis, by pumping them out. After being evicted, exterior components of the bacterial cell wall can capture the metal ions and keep them from coming back inside. The extensive genetic resistance repertoire possessed by C. metallidurans is due in part to its propensity to obtain plasmids from other bacteria via horizontal gene transfer.Reflecting its metal toughness, C. metallidurans is often a major member of microbial communities in environments enriched with metals, be they natural or created by neglectful human activities. For example, the bacterium was originally isolated from a metal-rich sludge left over from processing zinc at a factory in Belgium. Other potential hangouts include soils and sediments at or near mining and smelting sites, metal plating factories, tanneries, and orchards sprayed with metal-containing pesticides.C. metallidurans is a survivor. Not only can it tolerate high metal concentrations, but it's a facultative chemolithoautotrophic, facultative anaerobe. That's a fancy way of saying it can live with or without oxygen and can make it's own parts by pulling carbon dioxide out of the air and fusing it together using energy derived from sulfur or hydrogen gas. It's also happy to use organic carbon, if it's available, including aromatics such as toluene and phenol that are widespread pollutants of soil and groundwater. Among the harsher environments the bacterium has been isolated from are pools of depleted nuclear fuel and ultra-clean rooms in which spacecraft are put together prior to launch. It's also been found hanging out in the water systems of the International Space Station.Due to its resilience, C. metallidurans has been investigated for its ability to grow on and leach nutrients from basalt, an igneous rock that is a major component of regolith on Mars and the Moon. The idea is the bacterium could be used to generate resources from a material already present in space, assisting colonization efforts.Relative to chemical techniques, the removal of metals from contaminated environments by bacteria can be cheap, simple, and low impact. C. metallidurans has been investigated as a means of cleaning up sites with harsh conditions not suitable for other microbes (e.g. there not being much organic matter to eat). One approach is to add the bacterium to a bunch of wet sand and let it form biofilms around individual sand particles. Wastewater full of metal ions is then passed through the sand and the bacterium acts to pull the metals out of the water and trap them in the sand/bacteria mix. Alternatively, C. metallidurans can be mixed with water and metal-contaminated soil in a reactor. The bacterium likes to float to the surface as it grows, providing a means to separate metals (bound to its cells) from soils that settle to the bottom.In an effort to improve the relatively low mercury resistance of C. metallidurans (compared to the other metals it resists) and thus improve its utility in cleaning up mercury-contaminated environments (which are often laced with other metals), researchers managed to gift it with a plasmid containing several mercury resistance genes. This plasmid had been previously isolated from a microbial community residing in mercury-polluted river sediments, and enables the bacterium to remove mercury cations from polluted water by giving them electrons and thereby increasing their volatility.With its new plasmid, the modified bacterium (MSR33) can remove mercury from water (Source)The bacterium has also been genetically engineered to create a tool for detecting metals in soils and other materials. A chunk of DNA from a bioluminescent bacterium called Aliivibrio fischeri was inserted alongside genes encoding resistance to particular metals. In the presence of these metals (at a certain minimum concentration), the modified bacterium will express both metal resistance proteins and luciferase, a light-producing enzyme. The intensity of the light can be used to measure metal concentrations.Being awesome, C. metallidurans contributes to the formation of placer gold deposits via the conversion of soluble gold chloride complexes into solid elemental gold particles. Weathering or mining of gold-containing rock can lead to the formation of soluble gold complexes that enter nearby natural waters. Cells of the bacterium are able to fill themselves up with these complexes, which they then transform (via the addition of electrons) into gold-carbon compounds and subsequently into nanoparticles of elemental gold. This appears to be a detoxification strategy since gold complexes can adversely affect cells, the side effect being the precipitation of gold out of natural waters as grains (which can be separated out from sediments by panning or sluicing).One of the more interesting applications of the bacterium's gold precipitating ability is in assessing the utility of human hair as a measure of metal exposure prior to death in buried corpses. Investigators found that C. metallidurans was able to deposit gold in human hair that had been buried in soil for six months. Since gold is fairly stable in the environment, this finding suggests soil bacteria can also influence the concentrations of other metals in buried hair. So anyone who wants to use the metal content of this hair to infer stuff about the lives of the person who grew the hair (e.g. archaeologists, forensic investigators) probably needs to consider the activity of soil bacteria and how long the hair has been buried.Tiny clumps of Cupriavidus metallidurans and gold on a strand of hair (Source)On the medical side of things, C. metallidurans is very rarely able to get inside people and cause disease. In the one case I looked at, the person affected was already very sick with diabetes and heart disease, and had just recently had intensive abdominal surgery to remove several cancerous parts. The bacterium has also been recovered from the respiratory tract of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. It's not clear if it actually infects these folks and contributes to their illness or if it just is hanging out without causing problems (apparently unexpected bacteria tend to show up in CF-impacted lungs).ReferencesCoenye T, Spilker T, Reik R, Vandamme P, Lipuma JJ. 2005. Use of PCR analyses to define the distribution of Ralstonia species recovered from patients with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 43(7):3463-3466. [Full text]Diels L, Van Roy S, Taghavi S, Van Houdt R. 2009. From industrial sites to environmental applications with Cu... Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 25 views

New Insights into Human De Novo Mutations

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

De novo mutations — sequence variants that are present in a child but absent from both parents — are an important source of human genetic variation. I think it’s reasonable to say that most of the 3-4 million variants in any individual’s genome arose, once upon a time, as de novo mutations in his or her ancestors. […]... Read more »

Francioli LC, Polak PP, Koren A, Menelaou A, Chun S, Renkens I, Genome of the Netherlands Consortium, van Duijn CM, Swertz M, Wijmenga C.... (2015) Genome-wide patterns and properties of de novo mutations in humans. Nature genetics, 47(7), 822-6. PMID: 25985141  

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:06 AM
  • 27 views

Inflammatory bowel disease and autism: increased prevalence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin today's post:"Across each population with different kinds of ascertainment, there was a consistent and statistically significant increased prevalence of IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] in patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] than their respective controls and nationally reported rates for pediatric IBD."That was the conclusion reached in the paper published by Finale Doshi-Velez and colleagues [1] including one very notable name on the authorship list, Isaac Kohane (he of comorbidity clusters and autism research fame).Drawing on data from various sources - "rates of IBD among patients with and without ASD were measured in 4 study populations with distinct modes of ascertainment: a health care benefits company, 2 pediatric tertiary care centers, and a national ASD repository" - researchers set about establishing whether there were any differences between those with autism and those without autism in terms of IBD frequency. IBDs by the way, were characterised using ICD-9-CM codes and primarily included diagnoses of Crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis.Researchers reported that "the rates of IBD-related ICD-9-CM codes for patients with ASD were significantly higher than that of their respective controls" despite the actual numbers diagnosed with an IBD being quite low (23 out of a cumulative population of nearly 10,000 participants). For those 23 people on the autism spectrum however, formal diagnosis of an inflammatory bowel disease is probably a very real thing to them and their families.As mentioned in previous discussions on this blog, to talk about inflammatory bowel disease and autism can stir up some quite intense emotions and debates (see here) despite the fact that a diagnosis of autism is seemingly not protective against presenting with such issues (see here). Alongside the acceptance that more functional bowel issues such as constipation and diarrhoea are quite a frequent feature for quite a few cases of autism (see here), research attention needs to turn towards the underlying reasons why such functional bowel problems present and whether they may be reflective of something more pathological than just as a consequence of poor eating habits (see here) or any psychological / behavioural comorbidity (see here).I'd wager that there is a lot more to see in this area of research particularly in light of ideas about the gut-brain axis being something potentially important to [some] autism (see here) alongside the idea that there may be specific neurological consequences of IBDs (see here). The idea that parental experiences of IBDs may also not be associated with offspring autism risk (see here) invites some interesting research discussing the ways and means that IBD risk comes to be heightened in relation to autism...Music and have you heard that bird is the word?----------[1] Doshi-Velez F. et al. Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Jul 25.----------Doshi-Velez F, Avillach P, Palmer N, Bousvaros A, Ge Y, Fox K, Steinberg G, Spettell C, Juster I, & Kohane I (2015). Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflammatory bowel diseases PMID: 26218138... Read more »

Doshi-Velez F, Avillach P, Palmer N, Bousvaros A, Ge Y, Fox K, Steinberg G, Spettell C, Juster I, & Kohane I. (2015) Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID: 26218138  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:08 PM
  • 44 views

We can build it better: The first artificial ribosome

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell. The engineered ribosome may enable the production of new drugs and next-generation biomaterials and lead to a better understanding of how ribosomes function.... Read more »

Orelle, C., Carlson, E., Szal, T., Florin, T., Jewett, M., & Mankin, A. (2015) Protein synthesis by ribosomes with tethered subunits. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature14862  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 07:48 PM
  • 31 views

Prostate cancer is 5 different diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer Research UK scientists have for the first time identified that there are five distinct types of prostate cancer and found a way to distinguish between them, according to a landmark study. The findings could have important implications for how doctors treat prostate cancer in the future, by identifying tumours that are more likely to grow and spread aggressively through the body.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 02:09 PM
  • 41 views

The “Invisible Web” Undermines Health Information Privacy

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

What do the third parties do with your data? We do not really know because the laws and regulations are rather fuzzy here. We do know that Google, Facebook and Twitter primarily make money by advertising so they could potentially use your info and customize the ads you see. Just because you visited a page on breast cancer does not mean that the "Invisible Web" knows your name and address but they do know that you have some interest in breast cancer. It would make financial sense to send breast cancer related ads your way: books about breast cancer, new herbal miracle cures for cancer or even ads by pharmaceutical companies. It would be illegal for your physician to pass on your diagnosis or inquiry about breast cancer to an advertiser without your consent but when it comes to the "Invisible Web" there is a continuous chatter going on in the background about your health interests without your knowledge.
... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 10:30 AM
  • 43 views

It’s 11 PM, Do You Know Where Your Organs Are?

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

It’s a miracle that a human body ever works like it’s supposed to. So many things can go wrong and there’s so few ways for things to be right. Ever hear of a defect called situs ambiguus? It’s a big problem. And what’s more, when something like transposition of the great arteries occurs, it’s only a second defect that keeps the patients alive.... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 09:39 AM
  • 37 views

Video Tip of the Week: PathWhiz for Pathways, Part II

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s tip is a follow-up to the PathWhiz one featured last week. After I had finished writing that one, the second video in the series became available. It has a lot more detail on how to work with the tool. I’m not going to go into the introduction here again, you can flip back […]... Read more »

Pon, A., Jewison, T., Su, Y., Liang, Y., Knox, C., Maciejewski, A., Wilson, M., & Wishart, D. (2015) Pathways with PathWhiz. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(W1). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv399  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 42 views

Should Vets Give Treats to Pets?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Do treats at the vet mean fewer bites and a less fearful pet? Many companion animals are scared of visits to the vet. There is an established procedure for treating fear called desensitization and counter-conditioning (DS/CC) which involves feeding nice food in order to make something less scary. Yet many vets do not give treats to animals. A new paper by Karolina Westlund (Karolinska Institute) considers this reluctance, and looks at the evidence for and against.Westlund says, “Veterinarians and veterinary assistants have a choice whether or not to use treats when interacting with their patients; indeed a DS/CC procedure could be started the moment the animal enters the waiting room, and continue during weighing, consultation and examination. Could it be that staff assess the potential costs involved in feeding treats, but not the costs involved in not doing so?”If your pet has ever had to have a general anaesthetic, you’ll have heard the advice not to feed anything after 8pm the night before. The worry is that something called the gastro-oesophageal reflex might make the contents of the stomach leak up into the trachea, potentially causing aspiration pneumonia. However, this is a rare occurrence (she cites a figure of between 0.04% and 0.26% of postoperative cases). Westlund says many vets never give treats to pets during routine vet exams, just in case it turns out the animal needs anaesthesia or sedation. However, she says vets should consider the benefits as well as the risks. Giving treats would help make the animal less stressed, which in itself reduces the need for sedation. It also makes it safer for vets, who are less likely to get bitten. Another important benefit she mentions is it can give vets an opportunity to educate owners about how to deal with fear. This will be especially helpful for people whose animals are afraid of other things too (such as fireworks). Also, some people stop taking their animals to the vet altogether simply because the cat or dog is so afraid that it becomes difficult for them to do so. Another reason vets can be reluctant to feed treats is in case of causing a tummy upset, but Westlund suggests having a range of treats and checking with owners about food allergies first. Vets may also be concerned about promoting treats given the problems of overweight and obesity in pets. She suggests calling them ‘wholesome treats’ or ‘tasty food’ instead. This also provides another opportunity for client education. Westlund concludes that “the benefits to the animal, staff and owner outweigh the risks.” She also makes specific suggestions to help vets with concerns.For many pets, treats at the vet will help them feel more comfortable. For animals with a bigger fear of the vet and/or being handled, a suitably qualified dog trainer or animal behaviourist would be able to develop a plan to resolve the problem.How do your pets find visits to the vet?Reference Westlund, K. (2015). To feed or not to feed: counterconditioning in the veterinary clinic Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.05.008 Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE ... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 03:42 AM
  • 53 views

Gluten psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The present case-report confirms that psychosis may be a manifestation of NCGS [non-coeliac gluten sensitivity], and may also involve children; the diagnosis is difficult with many cases remaining undiagnosed."Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] (open-access) provide an interesting read in today's post on how diet and psychiatry might once again be linked. Presenting a case report of a 14-year old girl coming to the attention of clinical services "for psychotic symptoms that were apparently associated with gluten consumption", the authors describe the experiences of an otherwise well child quite quickly developing various psychiatric symptoms. Although initially thought to be autoimmune encephalitis (see here) it became apparent that dietary gluten might be a culprit behind the psychiatric presentation and not necessarily because of the classical gluten-related autoimmune condition called coeliac (celiac) disease (CD) either."To our knowledge, this is the first description of a pre-pubertal child presenting with a severe psychotic manifestation that was clearly related to the ingestion of gluten-containing food and showing complete resolution of symptoms after starting treatment with the gluten-free diet." Well actually, it's not; as previous ramblings on this blog come to mind (see here) albeit not with the same serological profile as discussed in the Lionetti paper. Interestingly however is the 'autoimmune' link noted in the paper by Eaton and colleagues [2] potentially overlapping with the Lionetti case report: "The only abnormal parameters were anti-thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase antibodies (103 IU/mL, and 110 IU/mL; v.n. 0–40 IU/mL)." In light of other 'psychiatric' manifestations correlating with autoimmune issues with thyroid function in mind (see here) I'm beginning to wonder whether there might be a few research studies to do in this area...Hopefully without plagiarising the Lionetti report, another long quote is coming up: "In our case report, the correlation of psychotic symptoms with gluten ingestion and the following diagnosis of NGCS were well demonstrated; the girl was, indeed, not affected by CD, because she showed neither the typical CD-related autoantibodies (anti-tTG and EMA) nor the signs of intestinal damage at the small intestinal biopsy. Features of an allergic reaction to gluten were lacking as well, as shown by the absence of IgE or T-cell-mediated abnormalities of immune response to wheat proteins. The double-blind gluten challenge, currently considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of NCGS, clearly showed that the elimination and reintroduction of gluten was followed by the disappearance and reappearance of symptoms." I might add that mention of 'leaky gut' in the Lionetti paper might offer a further expansion for the role of intestinal hyperpermeability in psychiatry (see here).Need I say any more aside from: (i) this being further evidence that Dohan might have been on to something and (ii) more scientifically controlled research is most definitely warranted. Oh, and that the spectrum of possible behavioural and/or psychiatric effects from gluten in some people may be expanding...Music: Shake Some Action.----------[1] Lionetti E. et al. Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients. 2015;7(7): 5532-5539.[2] Eaton WW. et al. Improvement in Psychotic Symptoms After a Gluten-Free Diet in a Boy With Complex Autoimmune Illness. Am J Psychiatry. 2015; 172: 219-221.----------Lionetti, E., Leonardi, S., Franzonello, C., Mancardi, M., Ruggieri, M., & Catassi, C. (2015). Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity Nutrients, 7 (7), 5532-5539 DOI: 10.3390/nu7075235... Read more »

Lionetti, E., Leonardi, S., Franzonello, C., Mancardi, M., Ruggieri, M., & Catassi, C. (2015) Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients, 7(7), 5532-5539. DOI: 10.3390/nu7075235  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 02:53 AM
  • 47 views

How do you make sure your students come prepared to your flipped course?

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Teaching and Oceanography

As I mentioned a while back, we are preparing a flipped course. And the biggest question always is how to make sure students actually prepare for class. Because if they weren’t prepared, what would you do? Repeat the content they … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 12:05 AM
  • 51 views

Should You be Nervous about Neural Changes Following ACL Surgery?

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

Following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, patients have changes in the excitability of pathways that go from the brain (primary motor cortex) and down the spinal cord when compared with an uninjured limb as well as healthy control participants.... Read more »

Pietrosimone, B., Lepley, A., Ericksen, H., Clements, A., Sohn, D., & Gribble, P. (2015) Neural Excitability Alterations After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(6), 665-674. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.11  

  • July 28, 2015
  • 03:01 PM
  • 59 views

Ciência e Saúde Coletiva dedicates issue on the importance of Brazilian Collective Health journals

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The journal Ciência e Saúde Coletiva celebrates 20 years of uninterrupted publication and relevant contribution to national, regional and international Public and Collective Health. The July 2015 thematic issue celebrates the most relevant Brazilian publications and provides an overview of the development of the area, which scientifically supported the construction the Brazil’s Unified Health System - SUS. … Read More →... Read more »

Carvalho, M., Coeli, C., & Travassos, C. (2015) Uma breve história de Cadernos de Saúde Pública. Ciência , 20(7), 2007-2012. DOI: 10.1590/1413-81232015207.05882015  

Martins, C., Ribeiro, H., Alvarenga, A., & Carvalheiro, J. (2015) Saúde e Sociedade: parceria e abertura para novas abordagens. Ciência , 20(7), 2069-2080. DOI: 10.1590/1413-81232015207.06042015  

  • July 28, 2015
  • 01:35 PM
  • 57 views

Where memory is encoded and retrieved

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged? This question has kept neuroscientists busy for a long time. Researchers at the Mercator Research Group “Structure of Memory” at RUB have now found out that the same brain cells exhibit activity in both processes.... Read more »

  • July 28, 2015
  • 12:05 PM
  • 48 views

Sports Stadiums Make Bats into Winners and Losers

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Bats are indifferent to whether we're playing soccer, baseball, or beach volleyball under our stadium lights. They only care about the game of catch they're playing with all the bugs attracted to the glow. As bats stuff themselves on swarms of sports-adjacent insects, though, our stadiums may be aiding certain bat species and wiping others out.

Any bat that's willing to visit a lit-up sports stadium will find a bug bonanza there, says Corrie Schoeman, an ecologist at the University of Kwa... Read more »

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