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  • October 24, 2014
  • 05:20 PM
  • 27 views

The Genetics of Congenital Heart Defects Slowly Emerge from Down Syndrome Study

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Down syndrome, of all the genetic defects people are born with, is the most common (as far as chromosomal abnormalities go). Down syndrome involves having a third copy of all or part of chromosome 21 (for those who do not recall we are typically born with 23 pairs of chromosomes). In addition to intellectual disability, individuals with Down syndrome have a high risk of congenital heart defects. However, not all people with Down syndrome have them – about half have structurally normal hearts.... Read more »

Ramachandran D, Mulle JG, Locke AE, Bean LJ, Rosser TC, Bose P, Dooley KJ, Cua CL, Capone GT, Reeves RH.... (2014) Contribution of copy-number variation to Down syndrome-associated atrioventricular septal defects. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics. PMID: 25341113  

  • October 23, 2014
  • 05:58 PM
  • 36 views

The Genes Responsible for Immune System Reset after Infection

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We’ve all been sick before, the aches and pains that come with it– most of the time including a fever — are all responses to our immune system kicking into high gear. But what if your body didn’t reverse course and go back to a, let’s call it” relaxed state.” Once the battle is won, the body’s efforts would be wasted on energy costing defense. A bad thing when the body really should be focusing on repairing the damage done by the foreign invaders.... Read more »

Brian Head,, & Alejandro Aballay. (2014) Recovery from an Acute Infection in C. elegans Requires the GATA Transcription Factor ELT-2. PLoS Genetics. info:/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004609

  • October 22, 2014
  • 03:55 PM
  • 55 views

Converting Skin Cells to Neurons: A Fight Against Huntington’s

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Neurological diseases are some of the hardest to fight against (in my opinion). The big reason is the brain, we still know so little about it and treatment for anything effecting it can be difficult to say the least. Take Huntington’s disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. There is no cure and no real treatment, but that might change relatively soon thanks to a new discovery.... Read more »

Victor, M., Richner, M., Hermanstyne, T., Ransdell, J., Sobieski, C., Deng, P., Klyachko, V., Nerbonne, J., & Yoo, A. (2014) Generation of Human Striatal Neurons by MicroRNA-Dependent Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts. Neuron, 84(2), 311-323. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.10.016  

  • October 20, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 69 views

A Venusian Mystery Explored Once More

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Venus, the place where women are from... supposedly. To say Venus has a harsh climate would be an understatement, this is one of many reasons why we will never (or maybe not soon) see a "long lasting" Venus rover counterpart to our Mars rover missions. Still, the planet (much like all the other plants) can teach us a lot about not just our own origins, but the origins of the universe. Also like all our neighbor planets Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds, a mystery t........ Read more »

Harrington, E. et. Al. (2014) The puzzle of radar-bright highlands on venus: a high-spatial resolution study in Ovda regio. Geological Society of America. info:other/136-4

  • October 19, 2014
  • 01:43 PM
  • 68 views

DNA Nanotech: The First Large DNA Crystals

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

DNA is the stuff of life as we know it, but it is the potential as a programmable material platform that could spawn entire new and revolutionary nanodevices in computer science, microscopy, biology, and more. Researchers have been working to master the ability to coax DNA molecules to self assemble into the precise shapes and sizes needed in order to fully realize these nanotechnology dreams. A dream that been going on for 20 years now and was just realized.... Read more »

Ke, Y., Ong, L., Sun, W., Song, J., Dong, M., Shih, W., & Yin, P. (2014) DNA brick crystals with prescribed depths. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2083  

  • October 18, 2014
  • 02:55 PM
  • 81 views

New Genetic Test to help Solve Rare Disease Diagnosis

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My sister suffers from a rare disease which causes small fiber polyneuropathy, or the killing of nerves in her hands and feet. As it progresses she has trouble standing or using her hands. If that was the worst of it, then it might be liveable given the time between severe attacks is years or more. Unfortunately, it also causes intense and mostly constant pain and burning sensations, pain so bad that conventional narcotic painkillers have trouble controlling it. After some time working with the ........ Read more »

Lee, H., Deignan, J., Dorrani, N., Strom, S., Kantarci, S., Quintero-Rivera, F., Das, K., Toy, T., Harry, B., Yourshaw, M.... (2014) Clinical Exome Sequencing for Genetic Identification of Rare Mendelian Disorders. JAMA. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.14604  

  • October 18, 2014
  • 09:34 AM
  • 88 views

Merit’s Liquidity

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

The latest SAT and ACT data suggest that America’s cognitive elite have been enjoying new geographic mobility, but difficult economic times push them out of the elite strata, contrary to a prediction of The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray.... Read more »

nooffensebut. (2014) Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score. Open Differential Psychology, 1-19. info:other/

  • October 17, 2014
  • 04:02 PM
  • 80 views

A look at Air Pollution and Your Body

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

We have all probably seen stories from China on the horrid air pollution there. Accompanying those reports of course are the statistics for air pollution that deaths have caused. For the record, the World Health Organization estimated that ambient air pollution caused 3.7 million premature deaths (worldwide) in 2012 alone – yet what exactly happens to your body when it encounters pollutants?... Read more »

  • October 16, 2014
  • 05:20 PM
  • 100 views

The “New” Roots of our Friends the Mitochondria

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Mitochondria, the proverbial “powerhouse” of the cell. Mitochondria are found in virtually all eukaryotic cells, plant or animal and we thought that was pretty much the end of the story. It wasn’t a great explanation but it was Now new research is turning the idea– that our ancestor cells simply “swallowed up” bacterial cells that eventually became mitochondria– on its head.... Read more »

Zhang Wang, & Martin Wu. (2014) Phylogenomic Reconstruction Indicates Mitochondrial Ancestor Was an Energy Parasite . PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0110685

  • October 16, 2014
  • 04:18 PM
  • 132 views

Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In December last year, researchers Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler made a splash with a paper seeming to show that memories can be inherited. This article, published in Nature Neuroscience, reported that if adult mice are taught to be afraid of a particular smell, then their children will also fear it. Which is pretty wild. […]The post Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • October 15, 2014
  • 02:22 PM
  • 118 views

You can tell [my mood] by the way I walk

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever see a guy walking down the street and know he’s depressed? Or how about someone happy, with a little bounce in their step? The way we walk says a lot and by some estimates roughly 90% of what we are telling people isn’t coming out our mouth, it’s all body language. Our walk says a lot about the kind of mood we are in, but in the question of what came first our mood or our walk, researchers have now shown that it works both ways.... Read more »

  • October 14, 2014
  • 04:58 PM
  • 75 views

Carbon’s Place in a Silicon World

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Everything is silicon based, well mainly your computer, your TV, your ipad, and pretty much every piece of electronics in existence. Still the world turns and so does technology; at a similarly fast pace no less. Even as the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has enshrined light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the single most significant and disruptive energy-efficient lighting solution of today, scientists around the world continue unabated to search for the even-better-bulbs of tomorrow. In this search we ........ Read more »

Sharon Bahena-Garrido, Norihiro Shimoi, Daisuke Abe, Toshimasa Hojo, Yasumitsu Tanaka, & Kazuyuki Tohji. (2014) Plannar light source using a phosphor screen with single-walled carbon nanotubes as field emitters. Review of Scientific Instruments. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4895913

  • October 13, 2014
  • 05:27 PM
  • 87 views

Free Radicals and Wound Healing

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Free radicals, said in the right crowd and you might hear someone scream for their life. Of course, to be perfectly transparent antioxidants have already shown to be bad in plenty of cases, so maybe it’s just bad PR. Still they were long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells causing a host of age related problems with them. Well new research is showing that “free radicals” generated by the cell’s mitochondria—the energy producing “powerhouse” structures in the cell—are a........ Read more »

Suhong Xu,, & Andrew D. Chisholm. (2014) C. elegans Epidermal Wounding Induces a Mitochondrial ROS Burst that Promotes Wound Repair . Developmental Cell. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2014.08.002

  • October 12, 2014
  • 02:57 PM
  • 94 views

Nothing Sticks to a new Bioinspired coating for medical devices

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Putting things in the body can be tricky, I mean we need things from joint replacements to cardiac implants and dialysis machines, these medical devices are needed to enhance or save lives on a daily basis. However, any device implanted in the body or in contact with flowing blood faces two critical challenges that can threaten the life of the patient the device is meant to help: blood clotting and bacterial infection. Problems that sound easier to fix than they actually are.... Read more »

Don Ingber et. al. (2014) A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling. Nature Biotechnology. info:/10.1038/nbt.3020

  • October 12, 2014
  • 02:11 PM
  • 110 views

What Really Drives Academic Citations?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Citations are today the international currency of the scholarly economy. In theory, academic citations are the gold standard measure of the ‘impact‘ of a piece of work. If it gets other academics talking then it’s important. But why do individual academics cite particular articles? A paper out now in the Social Studies of Science journal […]The post What Really Drives Academic Citations? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Erikson MG, & Erlandson P. (2014) A taxonomy of motives to cite. Social studies of science, 44(4), 625-37. PMID: 25272615  

  • October 12, 2014
  • 09:56 AM
  • 85 views

Largest methane hotspot in the US found in the Four Corners: fracking not to blame!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New space-based observation has found a methane hotspot in the Four Corners due to coalbed methane from coal mines!... Read more »

Kort, E., Frankenberg, C., Costigan, K., Lindenmaier, R., Dubey, M., & Wunch, D. (2014) Four corners: The largest US methane anomaly viewed from space. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061503  

  • October 11, 2014
  • 04:14 PM
  • 132 views

Poop Pills, Yeah they are a Thing Now

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

When someone is lying it isn't too abnormal to hear someone say, "you're full of sh..." well you get the idea. Our poop defines us, the microbes that live in our digestive tract make it possible for us to digest food, absorb nutrients, and stay healthy. Heck they may even cause your cravings! Unfortunately sometimes --whether due to abuse of antibiotics or some medical condition like C. diff infection-- gut bacteria can work against us, leading to all sorts of problems. As of now, the only real........ Read more »

Ilan Youngster, MD,, George H. Russell, MD,, Christina Pindar, Tomer Ziv-Baran, PhD, Jenny Sauk, MD, & Elizabeth L. Hohmann, MD. (2014) Oral, Capsulized, Frozen Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Relapsing Clostridium difficile Infection. Journal of the American Medical Association . info:/10.1001/jama.2014.13875

  • October 10, 2014
  • 05:49 PM
  • 117 views

How the Brain Heals After a Stroke

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You have all the brain cells you'll ever have when you reach adulthood. That was the science lesson I was taught in high school from, maybe a misguided teacher, or maybe just misinformed, I do not know. That statement however is not true, we know that the brain is very plastic and ever changing. It's resilience still amazes us, even today with all that we know about it. Now a previously unknown mechanism through which the brain produces new nerve cells after a stroke has been discovered, showing........ Read more »

Magnusson, J., Goritz, C., Tatarishvili, J., Dias, D., Smith, E., Lindvall, O., Kokaia, Z., & Frisen, J. (2014) A latent neurogenic program in astrocytes regulated by Notch signaling in the mouse. Science, 346(6206), 237-241. DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6206.237  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:50 PM
  • 124 views

Fluoridation, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Water

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Most of us have heard the famous line by General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, "have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?" The conversation thereafter satirically illustrated a fear that grew most prominent starting in the 1940s with the Second Red Scare -- public water fluoridation. Many conspiracy theories about water fluoridation arose during this time, but they all aimed to make the same case: that fluoride in drinking water is bad (sometimes just meaning unethical),........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 04:10 PM
  • 114 views

Solar Panel Hybrid is Cheap and Super Efficient

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar cells are inefficient, it’s a sad fact. With todays technology they boast about a 10-15% efficiency, compare that to todays gas engine at roughly 20-25% and you can see it’s not quite up to par. Well that could all change very soon thanks to a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors. This could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells to as close as 100% efficiency as they can get.... Read more »

Tabachnyk M, Ehrler B, Gélinas S, Böhm ML, Walker BJ, Musselman KP, Greenham NC, Friend RH, & Rao A. (2014) Resonant energy transfer of triplet excitons from pentacene to PbSe nanocrystals. Nature materials. PMID: 25282509  

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