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  • April 27, 2015
  • 01:39 PM
  • 5 views

Parasite-Infected Bumblebees Seek out Flowers with Nicotine

by beredim in Strange Animals



 A buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris

Buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) that have been infected by parasites seek out flowers with nicotine in their nectar, according to a new study by researchers at the Royal Holloway University of London and Queen Mary University of London, UK.

Apparently, the nicotine in the flowers slows the progression of disease in infected bees but has ... Read more »

  • April 27, 2015
  • 08:34 AM
  • 15 views

Phytozome notice, new and improved v10 coming soon

by Mary in OpenHelix

This announcement came out while I was at a conference last week–but I wanted to pass it along. This appears to be a big change in the way Phytozome works. And there will be down-time before it rolls out, starting May 1. I like to post major announcements from mailing lists because I know everyone […]... Read more »

Goodstein D. M., R. Howson, R. Neupane, R. D. Hayes, J. Fazo, T. Mitros, W. Dirks, U. Hellsten, N. Putnam, & D. S. Rokhsar. (2011) Phytozome: a comparative platform for green plant genomics. Nucleic Acids Research, 40(D1). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkr944  

  • April 27, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 9 views

Role of EBV LMP-2A and LMP1 in inducing autophagy

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

Under conditions of cell stress such as nutrient deprivation or as a result of the accumulation of damaged organelles and misfolded proteins a lysosomal pathway is induced which degrades proteins as well organelles independent of the proteasomal pathway. The core machinery of this pathway -termed autophagy from the Greek  auto-, "self" and phagein, "to eat” (literally “selfeating”) - was discovered in genetic screens of yeast for genes required for survival ........ Read more »

Xi X, Zhang X, Wang B, Wang T, Wang J, Huang H, Wang J, Jin Q, & Zhao Z. (2013) The interplays between autophagy and apoptosis induced by enterovirus 71. PloS one, 8(2). PMID: 23437282  

Liu Y, & Levine B. (2015) Autosis and autophagic cell death: the dark side of autophagy. Cell death and differentiation, 22(3), 367-76. PMID: 25257169  

Liu Y, Shoji-Kawata S, Sumpter RM Jr, Wei Y, Ginet V, Zhang L, Posner B, Tran KA, Green DR, Xavier RJ.... (2013) Autosis is a Na ,K -ATPase-regulated form of cell death triggered by autophagy-inducing peptides, starvation, and hypoxia-ischemia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(51), 20364-71. PMID: 24277826  

Young, L., & Rickinson, A. (2004) Epstein–Barr virus: 40 years on. Nature Reviews Cancer, 4(10), 757-768. DOI: 10.1038/nrc1452  

Busson P, McCoy R, Sadler R, Gilligan K, Tursz T, & Raab-Traub N. (1992) Consistent transcription of the Epstein-Barr virus LMP2 gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Journal of virology, 66(5), 3257-62. PMID: 1313931  

Li Y, Zhang L, Zhou J, Luo S, Huang R, Zhao C, & Diao A. (2015) Nedd4 E3 ubiquitin ligase promotes cell proliferation and autophagy. Cell proliferation. PMID: 25809873  

Kuang E, Qi J, & Ronai Z. (2013) Emerging roles of E3 ubiquitin ligases in autophagy. Trends in biochemical sciences, 38(9), 453-60. PMID: 23870665  

Xia P, Wang S, Du Y, Zhao Z, Shi L, Sun L, Huang G, Ye B, Li C, Dai Z.... (2013) WASH inhibits autophagy through suppression of Beclin 1 ubiquitination. The EMBO journal, 32(20), 2685-96. PMID: 23974797  

  • April 27, 2015
  • 04:36 AM
  • 17 views

When optimal outcome in autism meets ESSENCE

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I recently came across the paper by Martina Barnevik Olsson and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their rather interesting take on the issue of optimal outcome and autism (see here for some background on this concept).Based on the idea that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might not be as immutable as perhaps once thought (as in 'no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria for the condition'), Barnevik Olsson et al reported that loss of the autism/ASD label does not........ Read more »

Barnevik Olsson, M., Westerlund, J., Lundström, S., Giacobini, M., Fernell, E., & Gillberg, C. (2015) “Recovery” from the diagnosis of autism – and then?. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 999. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S78707  

  • April 26, 2015
  • 11:53 PM
  • 20 views

FDA says no to marketing FDDNP for CTE

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently admonished TauMark™, a brain diagnostics company, for advertising brain scans that can diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer's disease, and other types of dementia. The Los Angeles Times reported that the FDA ordered UCLA researcher Dr. Gary Small and his colleague/business partner Dr. Jorge Barrio to remove misleading information from their company website (example shown below).CTE has been in the news because the neurodegene........ Read more »

Barrio, J., Small, G., Wong, K., Huang, S., Liu, J., Merrill, D., Giza, C., Fitzsimmons, R., Omalu, B., Bailes, J.... (2015) In vivo characterization of chronic traumatic encephalopathy using [F-18]FDDNP PET brain imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201409952. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409952112  

Zimmer, E., Leuzy, A., Gauthier, S., & Rosa-Neto, P. (2014) Developments in Tau PET Imaging. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 41(05), 547-553. DOI: 10.1017/cjn.2014.15  

  • April 26, 2015
  • 03:14 PM
  • 27 views

Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science to explain why opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has become so widespread, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture. They argue that the human mind is highly susceptible to the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of GMOs. The researchers urge the general public to form opinions on GMOs........ Read more »

Blancke, S., Van Breusegem, F., De Jaeger, G., Braeckman, J., & Van Montagu, M. (2015) Fatal attraction: the intuitive appeal of GMO opposition. Trends in Plant Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2015.03.011  

  • April 26, 2015
  • 01:47 PM
  • 22 views

Genetic Basis of Transcriptome Diversity in Drosophila melanogaster

by Dave Bridges in Metabolism Preprints

This preprint from Trudy Mackay‘s group at NC State uses a recombinant inbred series of flies known as the Drosophila Genome Reference Panel (DGRP) to evaluate how genetic variation affects transcription.  To do this they extracted RNA from whole flies, pooled from males and females of each of the 192 recombinant inbred fly lines.  They fit…... Read more »

Wen Huang, Mary Anna Carbone, Michael Magwire, Jason Peiffer, Richard Lyman, Eric Stone, Robert Anholt, & Trudy Mackay. (2015) Genetic Basis of Transcriptome Diversity in Drosophila melanogaster. bioRxiv. info:/10.1101/018325

  • April 26, 2015
  • 10:27 AM
  • 27 views

The Story Behind the Paper: The role of TORC1 in muscle development in Drosophila

by Dave Bridges in Bridges Lab Commentaries

A summary of our recent paper on the role of the TORC1 complex in drosophila muscle function... Read more »

Hatfield, I., Harvey, I., Yates, E., Redd, J., Reiter, L., & Bridges, D. (2015) The role of TORC1 in muscle development in Drosophila. Scientific Reports, 9676. DOI: 10.1038/srep09676  

  • April 25, 2015
  • 01:59 PM
  • 59 views

Mental disorders do not predict violence, so please stop

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When Sandy Hook happened, it was so shocking that to this day, some don’t actually believe it happened. Shortly after, something frustrating happened, the shooter was labeled with aspergers. This helped drive the mental health and violence connection to the point that Time came out with an article dispelling that myth. Even now according to new longitudinal study of delinquent youth, most psychiatric disorders – including depression — do not predict future violent behavior. The only except........ Read more »

Elkington, K., Teplin, L., Abram, K., Jakubowski, J., Dulcan, M., & Welty, L. (2015) Psychiatric Disorders and Violence: A Study of Delinquent Youth After Detention. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 54(4), 302-31200000. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.01.002  

  • April 25, 2015
  • 06:40 AM
  • 54 views

Puppy-Dog Eyes Release Love Hormone

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Gazing between pets and owners releases oxytocin, neurologically strengthening their bond. ... Read more »

Nagasawa, M., Mitsui, S., En, S., Ohtani, N., Ohta, M., Sakuma, Y., Onaka, T., Mogi, K., & Kikusui, T. (2015) Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science, 348(6232), 333-336. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261022  

  • April 25, 2015
  • 03:27 AM
  • 49 views

Kids with autism: a highly [psychotropic] medicated group?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In keeping with international studies this sample of children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] was a highly medicated group."So said the results of the study reported by Kerry-Ann Louw and colleagues [1] back in 2013 who noted that approximately one quarter of their cohort were currently in receipt of "psychotropic medications". I don't want to linger too much on this topic given that such findings tally with other peer-reviewed reports including those with much larger partici........ Read more »

  • April 24, 2015
  • 04:19 PM
  • 67 views

Diabetes drug found in freshwater potential cause of intersex fish

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A medication commonly taken for Type II diabetes, which is being found in freshwater systems worldwide, has been shown to cause intersex in fish –or male fish that produce eggs. The study determined exposure to the diabetes medicine metformin causes physical changes in male fish exposed to doses similar to the amount in wastewater effluent.... Read more »

  • April 24, 2015
  • 09:51 AM
  • 59 views

Marmoset Parents Teach Their Kids Not to Interrupt

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



No one expects a human infant to slide into the world with a good grasp of grammar. Marmosets, another kind of chatty primate, are also poor conversationalists when they're young. But their parents seem to teach them how it's done. Young marmosets learn the cardinal rule of having a conversation: don't interrupt. And if they mess up, their parents give them the silent treatment.

Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) live in large family groups in the forests of Brazil. "Because marmosets ... Read more »

Chow, C., Mitchell, J., & Miller, C. (2015) Vocal turn-taking in a non-human primate is learned during ontogeny. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1807), 20150069-20150069. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0069  

  • April 24, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 4 views

FindZebra: a specialised search engine for rare diseases

by Danielle Stevenson in BHD Research Blog

Every doctor is taught to think of the common causes of a problem before contemplating the rare ones. This works for the majority of patients but occasionally the cause is something unusual – a “zebra” – and isn’t so easy to find. For rare disease patients a specific diagnosis can be elusive with 46% receiving at least one incorrect diagnosis and 20% waiting over five years for a final diagnosis (Rare Disease UK, 2010).... Read more »

Dragusin R, Petcu P, Lioma C, Larsen B, Jørgensen HL, Cox IJ, Hansen LK, Ingwersen P, & Winther O. (2013) FindZebra: a search engine for rare diseases. International journal of medical informatics, 82(6), 528-38. PMID: 23462700  

  • April 24, 2015
  • 07:12 AM
  • 67 views

Momnesia: Does Pregnancy Really Change The Brain?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Pregnancy does cause brain alterations, but scientists still disagree about other factors.... Read more »

Standtlander, L. (2013) Memory and Perceptual Changes during Pregnancy. International Journal of Childbirth, 28(2). info:/

  • April 24, 2015
  • 07:12 AM
  • 63 views

Momnesia: Does Pregnancy Really Change The Brain?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Pregnancy does cause brain alterations, but scientists still disagree about other factors.... Read more »

Standtlander, L. (2013) Memory and Perceptual Changes during Pregnancy. International Journal of Childbirth, 28(2). info:/

  • April 24, 2015
  • 04:44 AM
  • 63 views

DSM-5 impacting on autism numbers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Consistent with previous reviews, the majority of included studies indicated between 50 and 75 % of individuals will maintain diagnoses."That was one of the conclusions reached by Isaac Smith and colleagues [1] following their systematic review of studies comparing DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what the changes mean for eligibility for the label.Authors further reported that: "the greatest decreases [were] among high-functioning populations with IQs over ........ Read more »

  • April 23, 2015
  • 06:25 PM
  • 72 views

Scientists create worlds first genetically modified human embryos

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A funny thing happened on the way to the publisher. In a world first, China has successfully created genetically modified human embryos. It was certainly an amazing piece of science, but the paper was rejected by both Nature and Science. Not because the study was flawed, or because the data was falsified, the paper was rejected for ethical reasons.... Read more »

Liang, P., Xu, Y., Zhang, X., Ding, C., Huang, R., Zhang, Z., Lv, J., Xie, X., Chen, Y., Li, Y.... (2015) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes. Protein . DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5  

  • April 23, 2015
  • 02:53 PM
  • 64 views

Whooping cough: A small drop in vaccine protection can lead to a case upsurge

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In 2012 the USA saw the highest number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1955. New research finds that a likely explanation for this rise in disease is a drop in the degree of vaccine protection for each vaccinated individual. The team worked with 60 years of pertussis disease data to determine what best explained the recent increase in the disease.... Read more »

Gambhir M, Clark TA, Cauchemez S, Tartof SY, Swerdlow DL, & Ferguson NM. (2015) A Change in Vaccine Efficacy and Duration of Protection Explains Recent Rises in Pertussis Incidence in the United States. PLOS Computational Biology. info:/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004138

  • April 23, 2015
  • 09:33 AM
  • 60 views

Stressed to Death: Overcoming Drug-Resistance in Malaria Parasites

by Lauren Richardson in PLOS Biologue

In recent decades the burden of malaria has greatly decreased. This is the result of both successful public health initiatives and widespread use of antimalarial therapeutics. Artemisinins are a family of drugs that have been incredibly effective against Plasmodium falciparum … Continue reading »... Read more »

Dogovski, C., Xie, S., Burgio, G., Bridgford, J., Mok, S., McCaw, J., Chotivanich, K., Kenny, S., Gnädig, N., Straimer, J.... (2015) Targeting the Cell Stress Response of Plasmodium falciparum to Overcome Artemisinin Resistance. PLOS Biology, 13(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002132  

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