"The results suggest that post-exertional malaise [PEM] is composed of two empirically different experiences, one for generalized fatigue and one for muscle-specific fatigue."So said the findings reported by Stephanie McManimen and colleagues  looking at one of the most common and debilitating aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and how rough-and-ready generalised descriptions often do little to reveal the complexities of this particular sympt........ Read more »
McManimen SL, Sunnquist ML, & Jason LA. (2016) Deconstructing post-exertional malaise: An exploratory factor analysis. Journal of health psychology. PMID: 27557649
A CRISPR recipe Less than a month ago, the world’s first official CRISPR/Cas9 meal was served. CRISPR/Cas9 is a fairly new technology to edit genomes, and cut and paste genes at will. Well, it’s not exactly that new. It’s actually been around for a long time. CRISPR, or *humhum* Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats […]... Read more »
Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, & Ricroch AE. (2012) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50(3-4), 1134-48. PMID: 22155268
Panchin AY, & Tuzhikov AI. (2016) Published GMO studies find no evidence of harm when corrected for multiple comparisons. Critical reviews in biotechnology, 1-5. PMID: 26767435
"Metformin may be effective in decreasing weight gain associated with atypical antipsychotic use and is well tolerated by children and adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."So said the paper by Evdokia Anagnostou and colleagues  (open-access) tackling an increasingly important health issue related to the pharmacological 'management' of some aspects of some autism.Metformin is the treatment of choice when it comes to the management of type 2 diabetes (the one where "t........ Read more »
Anagnostou E, Aman MG, Handen BL, Sanders KB, Shui A, Hollway JA, Brian J, Arnold LE, Capano L, Hellings JA.... (2016) Metformin for Treatment of Overweight Induced by Atypical Antipsychotic Medication in Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA psychiatry. PMID: 27556593
Researchers have found links between the levels of antimicrobial chemicals and antibiotic-resistance genes in the dust of an aging building used for athletics and academics. One of the antimicrobials seen in the study is triclosan, a commonly used antibacterial ingredient in many personal care products.
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Hartmann, E., Hickey, R., Hsu, T., Betancourt Román, C., Chen, J., Schwager, R., Kline, J., Brown, G., Halden, R., Huttenhower, C.... (2016) Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome. Environmental Science . DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00262
Earlier this summer I posted a review and commentary on a Duke University study of the outcome of children identified as gifted.You can access this post by clicking HERE.Today in Nature News, Tom Clynes publishes a nice review of the history of this topic.He notes there have several large scale studies to examine prospectively children with high academic potential. The cohorts include:Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth-SMPY (Johns Hopkins)Duke University Talent Identification ProgramMunich........ Read more »
Clynes, T. (2016) How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children. Nature, 537(7619), 152-155. DOI: 10.1038/537152a
'Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today' went the press release attached to the findings reported by Kristen Lyall and colleagues  (open-access).Observing that "higher levels of some organochlorine compounds during pregnancy are associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and ID [intellectual disability]" the Lyall results once again push environmental factors back into the research spotlight. Indeed, environmental factors that were bann........ Read more »
Lyall K, Croen LA, Sjödin A, Yoshida CK, Zerbo O, Kharrazi M, & Windham GC. (2016) Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Maternal Mid-Pregnancy Serum Samples: Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Environmental health perspectives. PMID: 27548254
Weight loss and maintenance of weight loss is difficult if not nearly impossible for most people.A registry of individuals who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained their weight loss over a year exists in the U.S. This research effort is known as the National Weight Control Registry. It currently has over 10,000.I was looking at some of the published research results from this study. A paper published in 2012 used cluster analysis to identify sub-types of individuals with successful long-te........ Read more »
Ogden, L., Stroebele, N., Wyatt, H., Catenacci, V., Peters, J., Stuht, J., Wing, R., & Hill, J. (2012) Cluster Analysis of the National Weight Control Registry to Identify Distinct Subgroups Maintaining Successful Weight Loss. Obesity, 20(10), 2039-2047. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2012.79
Free beer, made right inside your stomach! This rare condition converts your gut into a brewery, and it is more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
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Cordell, B., & McCarthy, J. (2013) A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 04(07), 309-312. DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.47054
Logan BK, & Jones AW. (2000) Endogenous ethanol 'auto-brewery syndrome' as a drunk-driving defence challenge. Medicine, science, and the law, 40(3), 206-15. PMID: 10976182
Although I'm not really one for deep philosophical discussions or anything related (unless linked to a specific galaxy far, far away...), I was recently interested to read the paper by Martine Lappé  talking about how "complex narratives of autism’s causes and social anxieties surrounding child development have helped situate autism risk in women’s bodies before and during pregnancy."I'm as guilty as anyone for discussing the pretty constant stream of peer-reviewed research evidence........ Read more »
Lappe, M. (2016) The maternal body as environment in autism science. Social Studies of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0306312716659372
With nearly sixty percent of American adults now taking prescription medications--from antidepressants to cholesterol treatments--there is growing concern about how many drugs are flowing through wastewater treatment facilities and into rivers and lakes. Research confirms that pharmaceutical pollution can cause damage to fish and other ecological problems--and may pose risks to human health too.
... Read more »
Vatovec, C., Phillips, P., Van Wagoner, E., Scott, T., & Furlong, E. (2016) Investigating dynamic sources of pharmaceuticals: Demographic and seasonal use are more important than down-the-drain disposal in wastewater effluent in a University City setting. Science of The Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.199
I'm a fan of scientific replication on this blog. Y'know, when one group comes out with some new marvellous research findings and another [independent] group says 'yep, we found that too'.It is with that sentiment in mind that I'm talking about the results published by Mats Johnson and colleagues  who suggested that "3 months of Omega 3/6 treatment improved reading ability" following a "3-month parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial" with schoolchildren aged 9-10 years o........ Read more »
Johnson M, Fransson G, Östlund S, Areskoug B, & Gillberg C. (2016) Omega 3/6 fatty acids for reading in children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 9-year-old mainstream schoolchildren in Sweden. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines. PMID: 27545509
"Our results support a significantly higher prevalence rate of BD [bipolar disorder] in IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] patients than in controls."So said the results of the meta-analysis and systematic review published by Ping-Tao Tseng and colleagues  (open-access available here) based on the suggestion that "both IBS and BD may, at least partially, share a similar mechanism of pathophysiology" specifically with immune function in mind.Building on previous research sugges........ Read more »
Tseng PT, Zeng BS, Chen YW, Wu MK, Wu CK, & Lin PY. (2016) A meta-analysis and systematic review of the comorbidity between irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. Medicine, 95(33). PMID: 27537599
At the dinner table, babies do a lot more than play with their sippy cups, new research suggests. Babies pay close attention to what food is being eaten around them - and especially who is eating it. The study adds evidence to a growing body of research suggesting even very young children think in sophisticated ways about subtle social cues.
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Liberman, Z., Woodward, A., Sullivan, K., & Kinzler, K. (2016) Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(34), 9480-9485. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605456113
Weight loss (bariatric) surgery is likely to become increasingly important to address the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and other nations.There are several types of surgical techniques used for bariatric surgery.One of the most invasive is the Rous-en-Y gastric bypass (RYG) operation. This operation involves bisection of the small intestine and reattachment of the upper section to a position lower down the small intestine. This provides for a shorter distance for food to be absorbed.Less invasive........ Read more »
Maciejewski ML, Arterburn DE, Van Scoyoc L, Smith VA, Yancy WS Jr, Weidenbacher HJ, Livingston EH, & Olsen MK. (2016) Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Durability of Weight Loss. JAMA surgery. PMID: 27579793
About the factors potentially limiting susceptibility to Blastocystis colonisation/infection.... Read more »
Blessmann, J., Ali, I., Ton Nu, P., Dinh, B., Ngo Viet, T., Le Van, A., Clark, C., & Tannich, E. (2003) Longitudinal Study of Intestinal Entamoeba histolytica Infections in Asymptomatic Adult Carriers. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41(10), 4745-4750. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.41.10.4745-4750.2003
Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW, & Cotter PD. (2014) The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota. FEMS microbiology ecology, 90(1), 326-30. PMID: 25077936
"The developmental concerns expressed by parents of undiagnosed toddlers were highly consistent with the diagnosis the child later received."So said the findings reported by Megan Richards and colleagues  who continue a research theme suggesting that when it comes to 'developmental concerns' about offspring behaviour, parents are generally pretty good at spotting potential red flags and professionals should perhaps take further note.Based on data derived from "a toddler screening study" some ........ Read more »
Richards M, Mossey J, & Robins DL. (2016) Parents' Concerns as They Relate to Their Child's Development and Later Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP. PMID: 27541581
The children of traumatized people have long been known to be at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mood and anxiety disorders. However, there are very few opportunities to examine biologic alterations in the context of a watershed trauma in exposed people and their adult children born after the event.
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Yehuda, R., Daskalakis, N., Bierer, L., Bader, H., Klengel, T., Holsboer, F., & Binder, E. (2016) Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation. Biological Psychiatry, 80(5), 372-380. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.08.005
"Overall, OO [optimal outcome] individuals are not showing BAP [broader autism phenotype] characteristics, but may be subject to other mild ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]-like characteristics."So said the findings reported by Joyce Suh and colleagues  who continue a research voyage based on the examination of a group of children who were very much once on the autism spectrum but no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the label: those with so-........ Read more »
Suh J, Orinstein A, Barton M, Chen CM, Eigsti IM, Ramirez-Esparza N, & Fein D. (2016) Ratings of Broader Autism Phenotype and Personality Traits in Optimal Outcomes from Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 27538964
Ever think it's silly that people don't recognize Clark Kent is actually Superman? Well as it turns out, glasses are actually a fairly good way to disguise yourself. In fact, researchers have shown that small alterations to a person's appearance, such as wearing glasses, can significantly hinder positive facial identification.
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Kramer, R., & Ritchie, K. (2016) Disguising Superman: How Glasses Affect Unfamiliar Face Matching. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3261
In the morning you get up, trudge all the way to the sink, grab a bar of soap and rub it on your face. Sometimes, after you rinsed, you realize that some soap got into your mouth. The taste is nasty, pungent, more in your nose than on your tongue and it persists until you eat or drink something.
This sickening feeling doesn’t hit me only in my brightest mornings, but also every time in an ethnic restaurant or during a trip the cook decides to decorate my tacos or my curry with some chop........ Read more »
Eriksson, N., Wu, S., Do, C., Kiefer, A., Tung, J., Mountain, J., Hinds, D., & Francke, U. (2012) A genetic variant near olfactory receptor genes influences cilantro preference. Flavour, 1(1), 22. DOI: 10.1186/2044-7248-1-22
Callaway, E. (2012) Soapy taste of coriander linked to genetic variants. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature.2012.11398
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