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  • January 2, 2015
  • 02:28 PM
  • 160 views

HIV vaccines may make things worse

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite what conspiracy theorists say, there is no cure for HIV. Not that people aren’t feverously working hard to find one, it is just really hard to do. To illustrate that point researchers have found that vaccines designed to protect against HIV can backfire and lead to increased rates of infection. This unfortunate effect has been seen in more than one vaccine clinical trial.... Read more »

Carnathan DG, Wetzel KS, Yu J, Lee ST, Johnson BA, Paiardini M, Yan J, Morrow MP, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB.... (2014) Activated CD4 CCR5 T cells in the rectum predict increased SIV acquisition in SIVGag/Tat-vaccinated rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25550504  

  • January 2, 2015
  • 03:19 AM
  • 162 views

Vitamin D and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Hello again and a very warm welcome back to Questioning Answers in 2015. The year, according to a popular sequel, we were all supposed to be benefiting from hoverboards and wearing self-drying clothes. It didn't quite work out like that (although there are still 52 weeks left for such dreams to come to fruition).When we got adopted by a bald guy, I thought this would be more like Annie.We start the new blogging year with a few comments on a rather interesting, if disappointing, set of results pu........ Read more »

  • January 1, 2015
  • 01:27 PM
  • 168 views

New cancer treatment targets telomeres

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Cancer, right now we don’t have much to fight it besides the standard surgery or chemo, neither of which is a great option. Well now scientists have targeted telomeres with a small molecule called 6-thiodG that takes advantage of the cell’s ‘biological clock’ to kill cancer cells and shrink tumor growth. Ideally this new technique will help eliminate the need for nasty drugs like those used in chemotherapy.... Read more »

  • December 31, 2014
  • 01:48 PM
  • 216 views

A surprising discovery about fast food portion sizes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Since the noticeable expansion of most of the worlds waistlines, people have come to lay the blame (amongst other things) almost squarely on fast food and ever increasing portion sizes. While the world and it’s leaders are dealing with this mysterious problem by trying to help push fast food chains in the direction of change, it might be surprising to know that according to new research, fast food portion sizes have changed little since 1996.... Read more »

Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE and Lichtenstein AH. (2014) Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurant Energy, Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content in the United States, 1996-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140202

Urban LE, Roberts SB, Fierstein JL, Gary CE, Lichtenstein AH,. (2014) Sodium, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Content Per 1,000 Kilocalories: Temporal Trends in Fast-Food Restaurants, United States, 2000-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease . info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140335

  • December 30, 2014
  • 01:07 PM
  • 230 views

Steak raises cancer risk and now we know why

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Some of you may remember a recent study showing why red meat is bad for the heart, while now there is a study showing why steak — or in particular red meats — raise the risk of cancer. To be clear, I am still very much a red meat eater and this is no way intended to change anyones opinions on steak consumption, but it is nice to understand the science behind what we put in our mouths.... Read more »

Samraj, A., Pearce, O., Läubli, H., Crittenden, A., Bergfeld, A., Banda, K., Gregg, C., Bingman, A., Secrest, P., Diaz, S.... (2014) A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201417508. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1417508112  

  • December 30, 2014
  • 04:42 AM
  • 176 views

2014 autism research review on Questioning Answers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I like warm hugs...Time flies doesn't it? And here we are yet again at the end of another research year and a time to reflect on the blogging highlights of 2014 on Questioning Answers. Once again the question is: are we any further forward when it comes to the autism spectrum, it's aetiology, nature and improving quality of life for those on the spectrum?Once again, I'm going to be optimistic and say 'yes' in some respects we are, as autism research continues at a pace. The caveat being tha........ Read more »

  • December 29, 2014
  • 01:27 PM
  • 150 views

Estrogen worsens allergic reactions

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Are you a woman? Do you find yourself allergic to everything, but water (and sometimes that is up for debate)? Worse, does your husband, boyfriend, or male friend seem to be impervious to any sort of allergy? Well I have good news and bad news, the good news is it isn’t you — or him. The bad news is it’s your hormones.... Read more »

  • December 29, 2014
  • 01:11 PM
  • 147 views

Smartphone Apps for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

As of January 2014, over 50% of adults in the United States own a smartphone; unsurprisingly, there has been a growth in the number of mobile applications (apps) aimed at providing health care services for various mental (and physical) health problems, including eating disorders. The purpose of mobile health technologies is to utilize the functionality of smartphones to deliver a wide range of health services, including providing psychoeducation, treatment services and/or recovery support.
... Read more »

Juarascio AS, Manasse SM, Goldstein SP, Forman EM, & Butryn ML. (2014) Review of Smartphone Applications for the Treatment of Eating Disorders. European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association. PMID: 25303148  

  • December 29, 2014
  • 05:48 AM
  • 136 views

Very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I started this blogging year (2014) with a post talking about the need for further research consideration for a possible role of inborn errors of metabolism in relation to the presentation of at least some autism (see here). It is therefore timely that I (almost) end this year's blogging odyssey with reference to the paper by Amy Brown and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that although: "VLCAD deficiency does not have a significant impact on cognitive or motor skills" there may still be merit........ Read more »

  • December 28, 2014
  • 04:34 AM
  • 149 views

Pre-eclampsia exposure and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A few weeks back, the paper from Cheryl Walker and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] were twice as likely to have been exposed in utero to preeclampsia as controls with TD [typical development]" provided some column inches in certain media quarters.How dare you insult Hero's Duty, you little guttersnipe!Although not the first time that pre-eclampsia - a hypertensive state characterised by proteinuria occurring during pregnancy and potentially ........ Read more »

  • December 27, 2014
  • 01:50 PM
  • 155 views

Evolution of whooping cough and the anti-vaccination movement

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

When I was your age, whooping cough wasn’t what it is today. I’m sure we all know the stereotypical grandfather telling stories like that, but — at least in this case — if he started his story off like that then he is actually right. Over the last few years, this once-common childhood illness, has evolved in response to its own vaccine, in other words this isn’t your parents’ pertussis.... Read more »

Pawloski, L., Queenan, A., Cassiday, P., Lynch, A., Harrison, M., Shang, W., Williams, M., Bowden, K., Burgos-Rivera, B., Qin, X.... (2013) Prevalence and Molecular Characterization of Pertactin-Deficient Bordetella pertussis in the United States. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, 21(2), 119-125. DOI: 10.1128/CVI.00717-13  

  • December 27, 2014
  • 03:52 AM
  • 151 views

Late/moderately preterm kids at risk for a positive autism screen

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

If you're sick of the sight of tinsel and/or turkey (delete as appropriate), I promise no more mention of them in this post. Just a brief introduction to the the paper by Alexa Guy and colleagues [1] (open-access) who concluded that: "LMPT [late and moderately preterm] infants are at significantly increased risk for positive autistic screen."Megamind, incredibly handsome criminal genius and master of all villainy!Based on the [final] analysis of data from some 600 LMPT infant and 760 t........ Read more »

  • December 26, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 171 views

Nanoparticles could deliver drugs to the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Science has already shown that when it comes to strokes, the sooner you treat it the better your outcome. Well now, stroke victims could have more time to seek treatment that could reduce harmful effects on the brain, thanks to tiny blobs of gelatin that could deliver the medication to the brain. The best part, this would be done noninvasively.... Read more »

  • December 26, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 172 views

The Chosen Ones

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Recent research out of the University of Nevada shows that choice in exercise order increases motivation.... Read more »

  • December 25, 2014
  • 01:09 PM
  • 181 views

mTOR and the fountain of youth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The fountain of youth might be just right around the corner, I know here at the labs we’ve reported several different ways to get to that fabled place, but now we have one more. New research shows that seniors received a significant boost to their immune systems when given a drug that targets a genetic signaling pathway linked to aging and immune function.... Read more »

Mannick, J., Del Giudice, G., Lattanzi, M., Valiante, N., Praestgaard, J., Huang, B., Lonetto, M., Maecker, H., Kovarik, J., Carson, S.... (2014) mTOR inhibition improves immune function in the elderly. Science Translational Medicine, 6(268), 268-268. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009892  

  • December 24, 2014
  • 01:07 PM
  • 191 views

Obesity and a high-fat diet might be hurting your baby

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We’ve seen it on the news, we’ve probably even read some articles about it, the “western” diet is awful. Yet, despite the warnings, Americans as a whole still eat awfully. Unfortunately, the health effects are very real and a new study shows that it may not just be effecting an expected mothers health, it may be harming the unborn child as well.... Read more »

Kamimae-Lanning, A., Krasnow, S., Goloviznina, N., Zhu, X., Roth-Carter, Q., Levasseur, P., Jeng, S., McWeeney, S., Kurre, P., & Marks, D. (2014) Maternal high-fat diet and obesity compromise fetal hematopoiesis. Molecular Metabolism. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmet.2014.11.001  

  • December 24, 2014
  • 07:22 AM
  • 171 views

Hate Brussels Sprouts? Then You Could Be A Supertaster!

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

A Supertaster is someone who has more taste-buds than the average person. Perhaps picky eaters are simply more sensitive to taste sensations of certain foods. You can find out how you fair on the taste-bud scale by doing this simple experiment.... Read more »

  • December 24, 2014
  • 04:43 AM
  • 166 views

Gluten-free diet affecting EEG findings?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Acknowledging that a certain 'jolly' person with a beard wearing a red suit will be visiting a few homes across the globe quite soon (the only time of the year that most people would let a stranger enter their home via a chimney) I want to briefly direct your attention to the paper by Parisi and colleagues [1] talking about how in "the presence of unexplained EEG abnormalities and/or other neurological disorders/SDB [sleep disordered breathing] an atypical or silent CD [coeliac di........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2014
  • 02:15 PM
  • 203 views

The science of dietary restriction and it’s benefits (or what to do after the holidays)

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In a new study, researchers have identified a key molecular mechanism behind the health benefits of dietary restriction — or reduced food intake without malnutrition. Also known as calorie restriction or simply a diet, dietary restriction is best known for its ability to slow aging in laboratory animals. The findings here show that restricting two amino acids, methionine and cysteine, results in increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production and protection against ischemia reperfusion injury, or ........ Read more »

Hine, C., Harputlugil, E., Zhang, Y., Ruckenstuhl, C., Lee, B., Brace, L., Longchamp, A., Treviño-Villarreal, J., Mejia, P., Ozaki, C.... (2014) Endogenous Hydrogen Sulfide Production Is Essential for Dietary Restriction Benefits. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.11.048  

  • December 23, 2014
  • 05:26 AM
  • 159 views

The bipolar - schizoaffective - schizophrenia spectrum?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This pattern of results is consistent with the conceptualisation of a spectrum of disorders, ranging from BDP [bipolar disorder] at one end, to SAD [schizoaffective disorder] in the middle, and SCZ [schizophrenia] at the other end." So concluded the paper by Serafino Mancuso and colleagues [1] examining clinical data derived from the Australian Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP).The thing about perfection is that it's unknowable.I'm not going to dwell too ........ Read more »

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