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  • December 2, 2015
  • 08:18 PM
  • 1,104 views

Our pale blue dot in the wake of destruction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

This is our home, that pale blue dot, dwarfed by an arrow that takes up less space on your screen than this sentence. For all our might and “overwhelming” intelligence, if we flexed our mental might and developed a weapon to destroy this pale blue dot, it would almost certainly go unnoticed in the universe.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2015
  • 07:47 PM
  • 772 views

The Many Stories of Climate Change

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

World leaders meet in Paris this week to agree to legally binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In honor of this historic conference, I take a look at a few stories around the world about how climate change already influences our global civilization.... Read more »

  • December 1, 2015
  • 04:03 PM
  • 644 views

Antidepressant medication protects against compounds linked to dementia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In addition to treating depression, a commonly used antidepressant medication also protects against compounds that can cause memory loss and dementia, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found. The study found that blood levels of two neurotoxic compounds dropped significantly in depressed patients after they were treated with the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro).... Read more »

Halaris, A., Myint, A., Savant, V., Meresh, E., Lim, E., Guillemin, G., Hoppensteadt, D., Fareed, J., & Sinacore, J. (2015) Does escitalopram reduce neurotoxicity in major depression?. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 118-126. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.04.026  

  • November 30, 2015
  • 06:58 PM
  • 497 views

Novel insights into genetic cause of autoimmune diseases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A collaboration between researchers at the Babraham Institute and the University of Manchester has mapped the physical connections occurring in the genome to shed light on the parts of the genome involved in autoimmune diseases. Using a new technique, called Capture Hi-C, the team revealed novel insights into how changes in the genetic sequence have a biological effect and increase the risk of disease.... Read more »

Martin, P., McGovern, A., Orozco, G., Duffus, K., Yarwood, A., Schoenfelder, S., Cooper, N., Barton, A., Wallace, C., Fraser, P.... (2015) Capture Hi-C reveals novel candidate genes and complex long-range interactions with related autoimmune risk loci. Nature Communications, 10069. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10069  

  • November 29, 2015
  • 03:06 PM
  • 557 views

Mental health risk for new dads

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women. Mental health researcher Dr Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women.... Read more »

  • November 29, 2015
  • 01:41 PM
  • 710 views

It is possible to develop successful HIV vaccine

by B V Waghmare in HIV virus and antiretroviral drugs and antiAIDS vaccine research and developmets

Antibodies developed in HIV infected individuals do not protect them against further proliferation of HIV, but protect proliferation of HIV in animals.
That means it is possible to develop a vaccine which will completely protect human from HIV infection.... Read more »

B V Waghmare. (2015) HIV Vaccine heading toward success. Combination of HIV neutralizing antibodies and Nanoparticle protien eOD-GT8 60mer are good hope for getting a effective anti HIV vaccine. http://bvwaghmare.blogspot.com. info:/

  • November 28, 2015
  • 03:20 PM
  • 574 views

The silence of the genes, an epigenetic tale

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by Dr. Keiji Tanimoto from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has brought us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In this intriguing event, one copy of a gene is ‘turned off’, or silenced, depending on whether it was derived from the mother or the father.... Read more »

Matsuzaki H, Okamura E, Takahashi T, Ushiki A, Nakamura T, Nakano T, Hata K, Fukamizu A, & Tanimoto K. (2015) De novo DNA methylation through the 5'-segment of the H19 ICR maintains its imprint during early embryogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England), 142(22), 3833-44. PMID: 26417043  

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:05 PM
  • 580 views

Synapse discovery could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of researchers led by UNSW Australia scientists has discovered how connections between brain cells are destroyed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – work that opens up a new avenue for research on possible treatments for the degenerative brain condition.... Read more »

  • November 26, 2015
  • 04:37 PM
  • 429 views

Stem cell study paves the way for patient therapies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients, an independent study of their genetic make-up suggests. The research – which focused on human embryonic stem cells – paves the way for clinical trials of cell therapies to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, age-related degeneration of the eyes and spinal cord injury.... Read more »

Canham, M., Van Deusen, A., Brison, D., De Sousa, P., Downie, J., Devito, L., Hewitt, Z., Ilic, D., Kimber, S., Moore, H.... (2015) The Molecular Karyotype of 25 Clinical-Grade Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines. Scientific Reports, 17258. DOI: 10.1038/srep17258  

  • November 25, 2015
  • 07:40 PM
  • 667 views

Closing the loop on an HIV escape mechanism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nearly 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV. When the virus destroys so many immune cells that the body can’t fight off infection, AIDS will develop. The disease took the lives of more than a million people last year.... Read more »

Lu, M., Hou, G., Zhang, H., Suiter, C., Ahn, J., Byeon, I., Perilla, J., Langmead, C., Hung, I., Gor'kov, P.... (2015) Dynamic allostery governs cyclophilin A–HIV capsid interplay. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201516920. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516920112  

  • November 25, 2015
  • 01:13 PM
  • 798 views

How to assess research proposals?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The peer review of research proposals (grants) aims to judge the merit of projects and researchers and enable the best to be contemplated. The director of an institution in the United Kingdom shared on Twitter his struggle in evaluating the numerous proposals received and started a discussion forum from which ideas and suggestions emerged. … Read More →... Read more »

Singh Chawla, D. (2015) How to judge scientists’ strengths. Nature, 527(7578), 279-279. DOI: 10.1038/527279f  

  • November 25, 2015
  • 10:15 AM
  • 852 views

The Fatal Flaw in Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR

by Rogue Medic in Rogue Medic

This is not a study that has a valid control group to determine if there is any benefit from ventilation. There is no group that does not receive ventilations, so it is like a study of one type of blood-letting vs. another type of blood-letting with the researchers taking for granted that blood-letting does improve outcomes. That is not a problem if blood-letting actually improves outcomes.

Should we take it for granted that blood-letting improves outcomes and that the only hypothesis worth s........ Read more »

Nichol, G., Leroux, B., Wang, H., Callaway, C., Sopko, G., Weisfeldt, M., Stiell, I., Morrison, L., Aufderheide, T., Cheskes, S.... (2015) Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR. New England Journal of Medicine, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1509139  

Alldredge BK,, Gelb AM,, Isaacs SM,, Corry MD,, Allen F,, Ulrich S,, Gottwald MD,, O’Neil N,, Neuhaus JM,, Segal MR,.... (2001) A Comparison of Lorazepam, Diazepam, and Placebo for the Treatment of Out-of-Hospital Status Epilepticus. New England Journal of Medicine, 345(25), 1860-1860. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200112203452521  

  • November 24, 2015
  • 02:52 PM
  • 597 views

Insights into protein structure could change the future of biomedicine

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have discovered a new way to create designer proteins that have the potential to transform biotechnology and personalized medicines.

In a range of experiments Professor Elizabeth Meiering, in collaboration with colleagues from India and the United States, created a protein that can withstand a range of physiological and environmental conditions – a problem that has challenged chemists looking to create super stable, highly functional proteins.... Read more »

Broom, A., Ma, S., Xia, K., Rafalia, H., Trainor, K., Colon, W., Gosavi, S., & Meiering, E. (2015) Designed protein reveals structural determinants of extreme kinetic stability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1510748112  

  • November 23, 2015
  • 07:00 PM
  • 606 views

Dopamine measurements reveal insights into how we learn

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have reported measurements of dopamine release with unprecedented temporal precision in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. The measurements, collected during brain surgery as the conscious patients played an investment game, demonstrate how rapid dopamine release encodes information crucial for human choice.... Read more »

Kenneth T. Kishida, Ignacio Saez, Terry Lohrenz, Mark R. Witcher, Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter, Jason P. White, Thomas L. Ellis, Paul E. M. Phillips, & P. Read Montague. (2015) Subsecond dopamine fluctuations in human striatum encode superposed error signals about actual and counterfactual reward. Proceedings of the natural sciences academy of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1513619112

  • November 22, 2015
  • 03:01 PM
  • 682 views

Neuroscience and the search for happiness

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Exercising, meditating, scouring self-help books… we go out of our way to be happy, but do we really know what happiness is? Wataru Sato and his team at Kyoto University have found an answer from a neurological perspective.... Read more »

Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Uono, S., Kubota, Y., Sawada, R., Yoshimura, S., & Toichi, M. (2015) The structural neural substrate of subjective happiness. Scientific Reports, 16891. DOI: 10.1038/srep16891  

  • November 22, 2015
  • 09:14 AM
  • 873 views

Are pre-registrations the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? Not really.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? In his Psychological Science editorial, Stephen Lindsay advertises pre-registration as the solution, writing that “Personally, I aim never again to submit for publication a report of a study that was not preregistered”. I took a look at whether pre-registrations are effective and feasible [TL;DR: no […]... Read more »

  • November 21, 2015
  • 05:09 PM
  • 602 views

The mysterious fungus that has major health consequences

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the University of Toronto examined fungi in the mucus of patients with cystic fibrosis and discovered how one particularly cunning fungal species has evolved to defend itself against neighbouring bacteria. A regular resident of our microbiome – and especially ubiquitous in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients -the Candida albicans fungus is an “opportunistic pathogen.”
... Read more »

  • November 20, 2015
  • 02:43 PM
  • 678 views

Inflammation linked to weakened reward circuits in depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

About one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. New research indicates that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure.... Read more »

  • November 19, 2015
  • 07:55 PM
  • 587 views

Yin and yang of serotonin neurons in mood regulation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Low levels of serotonin in the brain are known to play a role in depression and anxiety, and it is customary to treat these disorders with medications that increase the amount of this neurotransmitter. However, a new study carried out by researchers suggests that this approach may be too simple. It appears that neighboring serotonin-producing brainstem regions exert different and sometimes opposing effects on behavior.... Read more »

Anne Teissier, Alexei Chemiakine, Benjamin Inbar, Susan M. Dymecki, Holly Moore, & Mark S. Ansorge. (2015) Activity of Raphe´ Serotonergic Neurons Controls Emotional Behaviors. Cell Reports. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.061

  • November 18, 2015
  • 07:37 PM
  • 652 views

Master switch for brain development

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz have unraveled a complex regulatory mechanism that explains how a single gene can drive the formation of brain cells. The research is an important step towards a better understanding of how the brain develops. It also harbors potential for regenerative medicine.... Read more »

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