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  • March 10, 2015
  • 05:34 AM
  • 79 views

Microbes passing traits to host babies?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Clara Moon and colleagues [1] has garnered a lot of headlines with their findings suggesting that [mouse] mothers pass on bacteria to their [mouse] offspring. Their results reported in Nature, focused on a bacterium not unfamiliar to this blog, Sutterella (see here) and how, through the transmission of Sutterella via their poo(p), a specific trait might also be passed on. In this case, low levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) (something else that has cropped up on this blog) were noted ........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 11:15 PM
  • 82 views

How dogs get the point: what enables canines to interpret human gestures?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Guest post by: Lucia Lazarowski, PhD candidate. Her research is available via free promotional access in the journal Behavioural Processes until February, 2016. Hi Mia and Julie,As a long-time fan of the blog, it is an honor to be a guest contributor! I am especially excited to tell DYBID readers about this research because it was somewhat of a pet project (pun intended). I am now a PhD student at Auburn University, but this study was done while I was working at North Carolina State Univers........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 03:47 PM
  • 95 views

Alzheimer’s, the autoimmune disease?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Brain levels of the lipid ceramide are high in Alzheimer’s disease, and now scientists have found increased levels of an antibody to the lipid in their disease model. While some members of this lipid family are a plus in skin cream, inside the brain, ceramide appears to increase beta amyloid production and help the iconic plaque kill brain cells in Alzheimer’s.... Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 09:04 AM
  • 37 views

Law Brings More Student Athletes To ER For Sports-Related Concussions

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital New Haven 06510, CT MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Violano: In … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD. (2015) Law Brings More Student Athletes To ER For Sports-Related Concussions. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 9, 2015
  • 03:44 AM
  • 88 views

Mercury, autism and mitochondrial dysfunction?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Appreciating that to mention the words 'mercury and autism' in the same sentence can lead to furrowed brows and invoke eye-rolling in some quarters, I don't want to shy away from the results reported by Shannon Rose and colleagues [1] (open-access here) and their suggestion that: "the epidemiological link between environmental mercury exposure and an increased risk of developing autism may be mediated through mitochondrial dysfunction". Further that their result: "support the notion that a subse........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2015
  • 02:25 PM
  • 97 views

New approach to herpes vaccine succeeds where others failed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Herpes simplex virus infections are an enormous global health problem and there is currently no viable vaccine. For nearly three decades, immunologists’ efforts to develop a herpes vaccine have centered on exploiting a single protein found on the virus’s outer surface that is known to elicit robust production of antibodies. Breaking from this approach, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have created a genetic mutant lacking that protein. ........ Read more »

William Jacobs Jr,, Betsy Herold,, Christopher Petro,, Pablo A. González,, Natalia Cheshenko,, Thomas Jandl,, Nazanin Khajoueinejad,, Angèle Bénard,, & Mayami Sengupta,. (2015) Herpes simplex type 2 virus deleted in glycoprotein D protects against vaginal, skin and neural disease. eLife. info:/

  • March 7, 2015
  • 03:48 AM
  • 104 views

Systemic Integral Disorder: linking autism and schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Martial arts gradings call for my brood today (and well they should) so I'm gonna be fairly brief and introduce the paper by Haoran George Wang and colleagues [1] for your reading pleasure today alongside the concept of 'Systemic Integral Disorder' (SID) as a potential bridge between the diagnoses of autism and schizophrenia.I'm always a bit wary of grand over-arching theories or universal conceptual 'break-throughs' when it comes to autism simply because the inevitable hype which follows s........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:01 PM
  • 106 views

People with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder have similar brain abnormalities

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Imagine looking in the mirror and not seeing yourself. Imagine losing weight and seeing a lower number on the scale, but when looking in the mirror you are still just as fat. Suffering from anorexia or other body dysmorphic disorders live like that daily. They literally don’t see what you and I might see when we look at them. It’s not their fault and a new study suggests that people suffering from anorexia or body dysmorphic disorder have similar abnormalities in their brains that affect the........ Read more »

  • March 6, 2015
  • 05:20 AM
  • 112 views

Hypovitaminosis D is frequent in Down's syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Hypovitaminosis D is very frequent in DS [Down's syndrome] subjects, in particular in presence of obesity and autoimmune diseases."That was the conclusion reached in the study by Stefano Stagi and colleagues [1] (open-access here) based on an analysis of their small participant group diagnosed with Down's syndrome looking at vitamin D status among other things. The comment about obesity potentially exacerbating vitamin D deficiency ties in well with another paper independent........ Read more »

Stagi S, Lapi E, Romano S, Bargiacchi S, Brambilla A, Giglio S, Seminara S, & de Martino M. (2015) Determinants of vitamin d levels in children and adolescents with down syndrome. International journal of endocrinology, 896758. PMID: 25685147  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 02:48 PM
  • 43 views

Frequent Fried Food Consumption Linked To Increased Heart Failure

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luc Djousse, MD, ScD, FAHA Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Editor-in-Chief, Current Nutrition Reports Director of Research, Division of Aging Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA 02120 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Luc Djousse, MD, ScD, FAHA. (2015) Frequent Fried Food Consumption Linked To Increased Heart Failure. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 02:18 PM
  • 118 views

Not “just” crazy – Some psychoses caused by autoimmunity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Antibodies defend the body against bacterial, viral, and other invaders. But sometimes the body makes antibodies that attack healthy cells. In these cases, autoimmune disorders develop. Immune abnormalities in patients with psychosis have been recognized for over a century, but it has been only relatively recently that scientists have identified specific immune mechanisms that seem to directly produce symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions. In other words, some forms of ps........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 139 views

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew: The Science of Competitive Eating

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Matt Stonie recently consumed 182 slices of bacon in just 5 minutes, breaking a competitive eating record. How is this physiologically possible?... Read more »

Levine MS, Spencer G, Alavi A, & Metz DC. (2007) Competitive speed eating: truth and consequences. AJR. American journal of roentgenology, 189(3), 681-6. PMID: 17715117  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 06:39 AM
  • 128 views

Autism, heritability and 'proof of principle' genomic biomarkers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

JAMA Psychiatry published a number of interesting articles recently, some of which have grabbed media headlines. "Autism is largely down to genes, twin study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Emma Colvert and colleagues [1] who, based on an analysis of twin pairs as part of TEDS (Twins Early Development Study), concluded that: "The liability to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and a more broadly defined high-level autism trait phenotype in this large population-based ........ Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 110 views

Persistent hyperlactacidemia in cases of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from José Guevara-Campos and colleagues [1] (open-access can be downloaded here) is fodder for today's short post, and a topic that has not been seen on this blog for quite a while: hyperlactacidemia (elevated plasma lactate levels) and autism.Previous mentions of lactate and autism on this blog (see here and see here) were potentially pretty important; specifically, how elevated plasma lactate levels might (a) not be an unfamiliar finding for quite a few people on the autis........ Read more »

Guevara-Campos J, González-Guevara L, & Cauli O. (2015) Autism and Intellectual Disability Associated with Mitochondrial Disease and Hyperlactacidemia. International journal of molecular sciences, 16(2), 3870-3884. PMID: 25679448  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 07:03 PM
  • 125 views

Team accidentally finds key to DNA vaccination and genetic engineering

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It might have been an accident, but for some lucky researchers accidents are a good thing. In this particular case, scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate how cells function, a finding that might help advance an experimental approach to improving public health: DNA vaccines, which could be more efficient, less expensive and easier to store than traditional vaccines.
... Read more »

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:02 PM
  • 96 views

A study of twins shows that autism is largely genetic

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the fight against misinformation about autism it seems science is starting to come out on top, finally. A new study hopes to add to the recent advancements made in the understanding of autism, which finds that a substantial genetic and moderate environmental influences were associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and broader autism traits in a study of twins.... Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 09:40 AM
  • 14 views

Lies, damned lies, and gluten sensitivity – a story of statistics

by Laurie Laforest in FoodConnections.org

The recent study by Di Sabatino and colleagues DOES NOT demonstrate the existence of gluten sensitivity. Although the authors report that "the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during 1 week of intake of small amounts of gluten, compared with placebo," it simply turns out that 3 of 59 participants reacted strongly enough during their gluten challenges to skew the group results in favor of gluten sensitivity. Taken on their own, however, we cannot diagnose these individuals w........ Read more »

  • March 4, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 81 views

Taking Care of your Pet Rabbit

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Rabbits are the third most popular pet, but how should you look after them?A study by Nicola Rooney (University of Bristol) et al asked 1254 rabbit owners about how they housed, fed, played with and otherwise cared for their rabbit. The good news is that “many pet rabbits were found to be in good health, had compatible companions and were provided with enriched living areas.” But there were also many areas where things could be improved. The most common type of rabbit was a Lop, followe........ Read more »

Rooney NJ, Blackwell EJ, Mullan SM, Saunders R, Baker PE, Hill JM, Sealey CE, Turner MJ, & Held SD. (2014) The current state of welfare, housing and husbandry of the English pet rabbit population. BMC research notes, 942. PMID: 25532711  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:41 AM
  • 83 views

Asthma and autism: a spanner in the works?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As happens so many times in autism research, spanners are thrown in works. Take the paper from Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "children with autism have elevated prevalence of specific immune-related comorbidities". Nothing surprising about that finding based on the volumes of other research which seemed to have reached similar conclusions (see here).Then the spanner: "asthma was diagnosed significantly less often" in autism cases compared with asymptomatic controls. Asthma........ Read more »

Zerbo O, Leong A, Barcellos L, Bernal P, Fireman B, & Croen LA. (2015) Immune Mediated Conditions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 25681541  

  • March 3, 2015
  • 04:41 PM
  • 82 views

Protein Suppresses Appetite More Than Fat or Carbohydrates

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anestis Dougkas, MSc, PhD Food for Health Science Centre Lund University Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Dougkas: There has been an increased interest in the macronutrient profile of diets and meals as … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Anestis Dougkas, MSc, PhD. (2015) Protein Suppresses Appetite More Than Fat or Carbohydrates. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

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