Publication of US psychiatry's updated diagnostic code has provoked renewed debate in recent weeks over the extent to which mental illness ought to be framed as a psychosocial or a biological problem. The answer of course is that it is both. A new Canadian study captures this interplay, showing how close friendships mitigate the risk for girls whose genes mean they are more vulnerable than average to depression.
Mara Brendgen and her colleagues studied 294 pairs of twins aged ten years old (1........ Read more »
Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Bukowski, W., Dionne, G., Tremblay, R., & Boivin, M. (2013) Can friends protect genetically vulnerable children from depression?. Development and Psychopathology, 25(02), 277-289. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579412001058
I'm gonna try and be fairly brief in this post on the paper by Valerio Napolioni and colleagues* (open-access) looking at plasma cytokine profiles in cases of autism and their asymptomatic siblings. Brief because (a) the paper is open-access and (b) the participant groups (autism: n=25; sibling controls n=25) were relatively small so one has to be quite careful in extrapolating the findings with any large degree of confidence.Siblings by Paul Klee @ WikiPaintings Just in case you are ........ Read more »
Napolioni V, Ober-Reynolds B, Szelinger S, Corneveaux JJ, Pawlowski T, Ober-Reynolds S, Kirwan J, Persico AM, Melmed RD, Craig DW.... (2013) Plasma cytokine profiling in sibling pairs discordant for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of neuroinflammation, 38. PMID: 23497090
Take Home Message: Hyaluronic acid injections decrease factors related to collagen degradation. Some blood tests may differentiate responders and nonresponders to these injections.
Knee osteoarthritis, one of the leading causes of disability, has no cure and current treatments commonly involve medications to decrease inflammation and pain. Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections have become a popular form of treatment for knee osteoarthritis. However, the mechanism of action has yet to be determ........ Read more »
Henrotin Y, Chevalier X, Deberg M, Balblanc JC, Richette P, Mulleman D, Maillet B, Rannou F, Piroth C, Mathieu P.... (2013) Early decrease of serum biomarkers of type II collagen degradation (Coll2-1) and joint inflammation (Coll2-1 NO2 ) by hyaluronic acid intra-articular injections in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A research study part of the Biovisco study. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 31(6), 901-7. PMID: 23423846
“Our ancient countess was refused her desires will To bathe in pure fresh blood She’d peasant virgins killed Elizabeth, in the chasm where was my soul Forever young, Elizabeth Bathorii in the castle of your death You’re still alive, Elizabeth” -“Elizabeth”, Ghost As folklore has it, Elizabeth Bathorii, Countess of Hungary, often bath........ Read more »
Villeda SA, Luo J, Mosher KI, Zou B, Britschgi M, Bieri G, Stan TM, Fainberg N, Ding Z, Eggel A.... (2011) The ageing systemic milieu negatively regulates neurogenesis and cognitive function. Nature, 477(7362), 90-4. PMID: 21886162
Loffredo FS, Steinhauser ML, Jay SM, Gannon J, Pancoast JR, Yalamanchi P, Sinha M, Dall'osso C, Khong D, Shadrach JL.... (2013) Growth Differentiation Factor 11 Is a Circulating Factor that Reverses Age-Related Cardiac Hypertrophy. Cell, 153(4), 828-39. PMID: 23663781
Zhang G, Li J, Purkayastha S, Tang Y, Zhang H, Yin Y, Li B, Liu G, & Cai D. (2013) Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK-β, NF-κB and GnRH. Nature, 497(7448), 211-6. PMID: 23636330
Today, I am passing through New York City on my way to Princeton’s Center for Computational Intractability for a workshop on Natural Algorithms and the Sciences (NA&S). The two day meeting will cover everything from molecular algorithms for learning and experiments on artificial cells to bounded rationality in decision-making and the effects of network topology […]... Read more »
The geology of diamonds is fascinating in itself, but they also give insights into wider geological processes and history. Up until 1725, diamonds were only known from India. That all changed when Brazilians panning river sediments for gold, instead found diamonds. Recent … Continue reading →... Read more »
Harte, B., & Richardson, S. (2012) Mineral inclusions in diamonds track the evolution of a Mesozoic subducted slab beneath West Gondwanaland. Gondwana Research, 21(1), 236-245. DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2011.07.001
Harte, B., & Cayzer, N. (2007) Decompression and unmixing of crystals included in diamonds from the mantle transition zone. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 34(9), 647-656. DOI: 10.1007/s00269-007-0178-2
Erin on the side of a river somewhere in western NC, hard at work study obviously.
Erin Abernethy is a Master’s student in the Odum
School of Ecology at the University of Georgia, where she is studying
scavenging ecology in Hawaii. Before coming to Athens, Erin lived in North
Carolina earning her BS in Biology at Appalachian State. For that degree,... Read more »
Guillette Jr., L., Pickford, D., Crain, D., Rooney, A., & Percival, H. (1996) Reduction in Penis Size and Plasma Testosterone Concentrations in Juvenile Alligators Living in a Contaminated Environment. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 101(1), 32-42. DOI: 10.1006/gcen.1996.0005
A new study by Saoirse Leonard and co-authors from the Institute of Zoology, London and the University of Liverpool model the potential survival of brown bears in an Irish glacial refugium. The study has just been published in Biology Letters, and is free to read.
The study examines the presence of the now extinct brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Ireland during the Last Glacial Maximum (between 15,000 and 24,000 years ago) and aims to address the possibility that bears survived in Ireland during ........ Read more »
Leonard, S., Risley, C., & Turvey, S. (2013) Could brown bears (Ursus arctos) have survived in Ireland during the Last Glacial Maximum?. Biology Letters, 9(4), 20130281-20130281. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0281
Edwards, C., Suchard, M., Lemey, P., Welch, J., Barnes, I., Fulton, T., Barnett, R., O'Connell, T., Coxon, P., Monaghan, N.... (2011) Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline. Current Biology, 21(15), 1251-1258. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.058
Human infants require a lot of care, and our evolution owes a lot of how well, and how long we take, to raise our offspring. So, it’s very important that not only parents pay close attention to their young children, it’s also evolutionary important that extended family members (grandparents, siblings, even friends) can give their attention to another person’s child... Read more »
Cárdenas, R., Harris, L., & Becker, M. (2013) Sex differences in visual attention toward infant faces. Evolution and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.04.001
Is 'cloning' appropriate terminology for somatic cell nuclear transfer derivation of human embryonic stem cells?... Read more »
Tachibana, M., Amato, P., Sparman, M., Gutierrez, N., Tippner-Hedges, R., Ma, H., Kang, E., Fulati, A., Lee, H., Sritanaudomchai, H.... (2013) Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.006
In two recent posts, I have referenced a relatively-average psychologist (again, this psychologist need not bear any resemblance to any particular person, living or dead). I found this relatively-average psychologist to be severely handicapped in their ability to think about … Continue reading →... Read more »
Smallegange, R., van Gemert, G., van de Vegte-Bolmer, M., Gezan, S., Takken, W., Sauerwein, R., & Logan, J. (2013) Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063602
Synapses, the connections between neurons can strengthen and weaken depending on the specific activity at that synapse. This is called synaptic plasticity, and we've talked about it a lot on this blog (here, here, here and here).the strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections corresponds to the spine growing or shrinking (Matsuzaki 2007)However, there is another kind of plasticity that can occur at synapses. This is called homeostatic plasticity. And instead of the synapse strengthening ........ Read more »
Lee KJ, Queenan BN, Rozeboom AM, Bellmore R, Lim ST, Vicini S, & Pak DT. (2013) Mossy fiber-CA3 synapses mediate homeostatic plasticity in mature hippocampal neurons. Neuron, 77(1), 99-114. PMID: 23312519
The first evidence that climate change has affected fishing catches, revealed by William Cheung from the University of British Columbia and his team, shows tropical countries are set to be hardest hit.... Read more »
Cheung, W., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2013) Signature of ocean warming in global fisheries catch. Nature, 497(7449), 365-368. DOI: 10.1038/nature12156
-Scientific studies done with the “PAPER” array, one of the world-class scientific instruments in South Africa’s Karoo Radio Astronomy Reserve, is producing ground-breaking science and spectacular cosmic images, resulting in several important articles in top astronomy journals.
-The first scientific paper based on observations performed with South Africa’s new KAT-7 radio telescope, has been accepted for publication by the prestigious journal Monthly Notices of the Roy........ Read more »
SKA SA Project Office. (2013) Ground-breaking science and spectacular cosmic images from the PAPER instrument in the Karoo. SKA Africa . info:/
Blue Harvest @ Wikipedia @ Family GuyI need to create a suitable atmosphere for this post, so try this music for size and think Blue Harvest...Right. The wait is over. The discussions / arguments / objections / agreements are all confined to history. Drum roll, spotlight centre-stage... enter DSM-5 and into unknown territory we all go, particularly with autism, sorry.. autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mind.As you can see from the link above to the new diagnostic guidelines from the Ameri........ Read more »
Lai M-C, Lombardo MV, Chakrabarti B, & Baron-Cohen S. (2013) Subgrouping the Autism “Spectrum": Reflections on DSM-5. PLoS Biology. info:/
by Thomas Shultz in Evolutionary Games Group
Artem Kaznatcheev and I presented a poster on May 4th at the University of British Columbia to a highly interdisciplinary conference on religion. The conference acronym is CERC, which translates as Cultural Evolution of Religion Research Consortium. Most of the 60-some attendees are religion scholars and social scientists from North American and European universities. Many […]... Read more »
Kaznatcheev, Artem, & Shultz, Thomas R. (2011) Ethnocentrism maintains cooperation, but keeping one’s children close fuels it. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 3174-3179. info:/
The Global Positioning System has completely revolutionised how geologists study the deformation of the Earth. If you leave a GPS receiver in a fixed location for days, months and years, it is precise enough to measure motions on the millimetre … Continue reading →... Read more »
Corne ́ Kreemer, Geoffrey Blewitt, William C. Hammond, & Hans-Peter Plag. (2006) Global deformation from the great 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake observed by GPS: Implications for rupture process and global reference fram. Earth, Planets, Space, 58(2), 141-148. info:other/
Tregoning, P., Burgette, R., McClusky, S., Lejeune, S., Watson, C., & McQueen, H. (2013) A decade of horizontal deformation from great earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50154
How do viruses translate their mRNA in the presence of cellular mRNA? Rotavirus finds a way.... Read more »
Rubio, R., Mora, S., Romero, P., Arias, C., & Lopez, S. (2013) Rotavirus Prevents the Expression of Host Responses by Blocking the Nucleocytoplasmic Transport of Polyadenylated mRNAs. Journal of Virology, 87(11), 6336-6345. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00361-13
Piron, M. (1998) Rotavirus RNA-binding protein NSP3 interacts with eIF4GI and evicts the poly(A) binding protein from eIF4F. The EMBO Journal, 17(19), 5811-5821. DOI: 10.1093/emboj/17.19.5811
Preferred Foot Strike Pattern and Soft Tissue Vibration... Read more »
Enders H, von Tscharner V, & Nigg BM. (2013) The effects of preferred and non-preferred running strike patterns on tissue vibration properties. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia. PMID: 23642961
When you are buying a car you always look at official miles per gallon figures to find out how much fuel it will use. At the same time, most people have only a vague idea about how much energy their houses consume, even though home energy expenditures often account for a larger share of the household budget.... Read more »
N.A. McNabb. (2013) Strategies to Achieve Net-Zero Energy Homes: A Framework for Future Guidelines Workshop Summary Report. NIST Special Publication. DOI: 10.6028/NIST.SP.1140
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