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  • November 17, 2016
  • 02:57 AM
  • 363 views

Caring for the carer: what the science suggests

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Papers such as the one published by Nikko Da Paz & Jan Wallander [1] I think represent one of the most important areas of autism research and practice when it comes to the practical translation of science to real-life. Tackling a very important topic - caring for the carers - the authors provide a "narrative review" of the peer-reviewed science literature looking at how "treatments that directly target parents' psychological well-being" in the context of autism are doing so far.Personally, I........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2016
  • 02:58 AM
  • 333 views

PACE-gate!

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With all rights reserved for Keith Geraghty and his publication in the Journal of Health Psychology [1] (open-access) I want to reproduce his abstract relevant to the PACE trial commenting on the ups-and-downs of this study looking at the use of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and GET (graded exercise therapy) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME):"Science is not always plain sailing and sometimes the voyage is across an angry sea. A recent ........ Read more »

  • November 15, 2016
  • 02:56 AM
  • 335 views

Autism, ESSENCE and the question of reassessment

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I talked about ESSENCE - Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations - only yesterday (see here) and here I am covering the topic again on this blog. There is good reason however that this concept appears once more, as I draw your attention to the paper by Anne-Katrin Kantzer and colleagues [1] and the specific observation that: "Co-existence with other conditions was the rule" when it comes to the diagnosis of autism.OK, it's nothing new to say that the l........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2016
  • 03:13 AM
  • 388 views

ESSENCE meets connective tissue disorders?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

ESSENCE referred to in the title of this post concerns 'Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations', a concept championed by the ever-intrepid Prof. Christopher Gillberg and colleagues. Combined with some rather important discussions about the research validity of the concept of a singular 'autism' (see here) [part of the ESSENCE issues described] I'm drawn to quite a few of the proposals put forward by this research group it has to be said.It is with ESSENCE ........ Read more »

Baeza-Velasco C, Grahame R, & Bravo JF. (2016) A connective tissue disorder may underlie ESSENCE problems in childhood. Research in developmental disabilities. PMID: 27802895  

  • November 12, 2016
  • 05:53 PM
  • 353 views

Neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies: Zika Virus and antibody dependent enhancement of infection

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

the infection of both mice and non-human primates with various ZIKV strains including the original ZIKV MR766 strain as well as strains from Asia (ZIKV FSS13025), Oceania (ZIKV H/PF/2013) and the Americas (ZIKV Paraiba 2015) as well as the infection of human placenta explants (ZIKV MR766 and ZIKV Nica-1/-2 2016) suggest that ZIKV can cross the placenta probably by infecting maternal cytotrophoblast cells (CTB) and maternal decidual fibroblast cells combined with placental injury due to the relea........ Read more »

Panyasrivanit M, Greenwood MP, Murphy D, Isidoro C, Auewarakul P, & Smith DR. (2011) Induced autophagy reduces virus output in dengue infected monocytic cells. Virology, 418(1), 74-84. PMID: 21813150  

Dejnirattisai W, Supasa P, Wongwiwat W, Rouvinski A, Barba-Spaeth G, Duangchinda T, Sakuntabhai A, Cao-Lormeau VM, Malasit P, Rey FA.... (2016) Dengue virus sero-cross-reactivity drives antibody-dependent enhancement of infection with zika virus. Nature immunology, 17(9), 1102-8. PMID: 27339099  

Sapparapu G, Fernandez E, Kose N, Cao B, Fox JM, Bombardi RG, Zhao H, Nelson CA, Bryan AL, Barnes T.... (2016) Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice. Nature. PMID: 27819683  

Savidis G, Perreira JM, Portmann JM, Meraner P, Guo Z, Green S, & Brass AL. (2016) The IFITMs Inhibit Zika Virus Replication. Cell reports, 15(11), 2323-30. PMID: 27268505  

  • November 12, 2016
  • 04:17 AM
  • 384 views

Bifidobacterium longum 1714 attenuates stress?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been quite a week hasn't it? Indeed for quite a few people it's been a stressful few days so perhaps timely that I'm talking about the 'attenuation of stress' in today's post.Despite the relatively small sample size included in the paper by by AP Allen and colleagues [1] there is something rather tantalising about their results suggesting that in healthy volunteers "consumption of B. longum [Bifidobacterium longum 1714] 1714 is associated with reduced stress and improved memo........ Read more »

  • November 11, 2016
  • 05:10 AM
  • 351 views

RCC clinical trials: positive results and new phase III clinical study

by Joana Guedes in BHD Research Blog

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer and it can be caused by genetic conditions such as BHD (Randall et al., 2014). BHD patients can develop multiple kidney tumours. In most cases these tumours can be surgically removed. However, surgery and traditional chemotherapies can leave patients with reduced renal function and at risk of relapse. In addition, advanced or metastatic RCC is difficult to treat with surgery. Therefore, the development and improvement o........ Read more »

  • November 11, 2016
  • 04:00 AM
  • 240 views

Friday Fellow: Wheel Necklace Diatom

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Most of you likely know what diatoms are, microscopic algae with a silica shell that are very abundant in the world’s oceans and one of the main oxygen producers. You may have seen images like the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 11, 2016
  • 03:04 AM
  • 377 views

"While you're here, I just want to talk about your weight"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The important Doctor-Patient relationshipIn a slight departure from the typical material discussed on this blog, I want to briefly direct readers to the paper by (Prof) Paul Aveyard and colleagues [1] and results suggesting that: "A behaviourally-informed, very brief, physician-delivered opportunistic intervention is acceptable to patients and an effective way to reduce population mean weight."The title of this post comes from some of the media coverage of the Aveyard study summarising how ........ Read more »

Aveyard, P., Lewis, A., Tearne, S., Hood, K., Christian-Brown, A., Adab, P., Begh, R., Jolly, K., Daley, A., Farley, A.... (2016) Screening and brief intervention for obesity in primary care: a parallel, two-arm, randomised trial. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31893-1  

  • November 10, 2016
  • 06:14 AM
  • 428 views

This Month in Blatstocystis Research (OCT 2016)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

Highlights of the month include a Special Issue on Blastocystis appearing in Parasitology International, a study of mitochondrial genomes, relationships between gut parasites and gut bacteria, and a announcement of an EMBO anaerobic protist conference next year in the UK.... Read more »

Dogruman-Al F, Stensvold CR, & Yoshikawa H. (2016) Editorial - PAR INT - special issue on Blastocystis. Parasitology international, 65(6 Pt B), 749. PMID: 27742000  

Iebba V, Santangelo F, Totino V, Pantanella F, Monsia A, Di Cristanziano V, Di Cave D, Schippa S, Berrilli F, & D'Alfonso R. (2016) Gut microbiota related to Giardia duodenalis, Entamoeba spp. and Blastocystis hominis infections in humans from Côte d'Ivoire. Journal of infection in developing countries, 10(9), 1035-1041. PMID: 27694739  

  • November 10, 2016
  • 03:09 AM
  • 322 views

Atopy increases vulnerability to affective and anxiety issues?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a year of impossible things...I was rather interested to read the recent paper by Renee Goodwin and colleagues [1] observing that: "Atopy appears to be associated with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety problems, compared to youth without atopy."Atopy, referring to a predisposition to developing allergic diseases such as eczema, asthma and/or hayfever, is something on the 'up' in research terms when it comes to aspects of psychiatry and/or developmental outcomes (see here f........ Read more »

  • November 9, 2016
  • 10:20 PM
  • 188 views

Dark selection and ruxolitinib resistance in myeloid neoplasms

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

I am weathering the US election in Tampa, Florida. For this week, I am back at the Moffitt Cancer Center to participate in the 6th annual IMO Workshop. The 2016 theme is one of the biggest challenges to current cancer treatment: therapy resistance. All five teams participating this year are comfortable with the evolutionary view […]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2016
  • 04:16 AM
  • 373 views

A 'frank' presentation of autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Many individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have a distinctive behavioral presentation that is recognizable within moments, a phenomenon we call "frank" ASD." So said the paper by Ashley de Marchena & Judith Miller [1] who carried out an "empirical study of frank ASD" and by the looks of my Twitter feed when I initially posted about this study, there are quite a few varied opinions about the concept of 'frank' autism.Although 'frank autism' makes up a significant portion ........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2016
  • 06:41 AM
  • 549 views

The Brain Basis of Hating Cheese?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Do you find gruyère gross? Are you repelled by roquefort?



Neuroscientists are now investigating why this might be. A new paper claims to reveal The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese.

French (heh) researchers Jean-Pierre Royet and colleagues used fMRI to scan 15 people who liked cheese and 15 who "hated" it. During the scan, the participants were shown images of cheese and were exposed to cheese odors.

The six neuro-cheeses were blue cheese, cheddar, goat cheese, gruyère, parmesan, ... Read more »

Royet JP, Meunier D, Torquet N, Mouly AM, & Jiang T. (2016) The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 511. PMID: 27799903  

  • November 8, 2016
  • 03:49 AM
  • 38 views

Reproductive strategy of Northeast Arctic cod

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




Spawning time and location are important factors affecting the reproductive cycle for migratory fish by potentially affecting offspring survival and growth. We examine this relationships by using a drift model for early life stages (eggs to age 1) of the Northeast Arctic cod combined with empirical estimates of spatial variation in mortality at two different life stages (Langangen
et al. 2016).

... Read more »

Davis, D. Lack. (1955) The natural regulation of animal numbers. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 30(2), 157-158. DOI: 10.1086/400774  

Bridget S. Green. (2008) Maternal Effects in Fish Populations. Advances in Marine Biology, 1-105. DOI: 10.1016/S0065-2881(08)00001-1  

Ciannelli, L., Dingsør, G., Bogstad, B., Ottersen, G., Chan, K., Gjøsæter, H., Stiansen, J., & Stenseth, N. (2007) Spatial anatomy of species survival: Effects of predation and climate -driven environmental variability. Ecology, 88(3), 635-646. DOI: 10.1890/05-2035  

  • November 8, 2016
  • 02:57 AM
  • 336 views

"A Putative Blood-Based Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Ileocolitis"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Contrary to Murphy's Law - 'never repeat a successful experiment' - replication or reproducibility is a cornerstone of good science. Today, I'm blogging about a piece of research that aimed to do just that as per the findings reported by Stephen Walker and colleagues [1] (open-access).The title of this post has been borrowed from the title of the Walker paper to illustrate how moving on from the quite widely known 'fact' that functional gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are over-represented wh........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2016
  • 02:39 PM
  • 426 views

Snakes Defend Themselves with Shape-Shifting Eyes

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Superman donned glasses to disguise himself and blend in with other people. One snake hides its identity using a similar trick: when threatened, it changes the shape of its pupils. This makes it resemble a much more dangerous animal.

The mock viper (Psammodynastes pulverulentus) is mild-mannered, not superpowered. It's common across much of Asia, and—as you might have guessed from its name—looks a lot like a viper. Actual vipers are a widespread family of venomous snakes. Like true v........ Read more »

Silva, I., Crane, M., Artchawakom, T., Suwanwaree, P., & Strine, C. (2016) More than meets the eye: change in pupil shape by a mock viper. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(8), 453-454. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1420  

  • November 7, 2016
  • 01:57 PM
  • 376 views

Neuroteratogenic Viruses: ZIKV, the placenta and IUGR

by thelonevirologist in Virology Tidbits

In humans, the most common infectious neuroteratogenic agents are summarised by the mnemonic “TORCH(S)” (Toxoplasmosis, Others, Rubella, (Human) Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex, Syphilis) with ZIKV either classified as “Others” or by expanding the mnemonic to TORCHSZ and indeed health authorities in affected countries regularly test cases of microcephaly suspected to be associated with neurological infections not only for ZIKV but also for the presence of TORCH(S). Microc........ Read more »

Yockey LJ, Varela L, Rakib T, Khoury-Hanold W, Fink SL, Stutz B, Szigeti-Buck K, Van den Pol A, Lindenbach BD, Horvath TL.... (2016) Vaginal Exposure to Zika Virus during Pregnancy Leads to Fetal Brain Infection. Cell, 166(5), 1247-12560000. PMID: 27565347  

El Costa H, Gouilly J, Mansuy JM, Chen Q, Levy C, Cartron G, Veas F, Al-Daccak R, Izopet J, & Jabrane-Ferrat N. (2016) ZIKA virus reveals broad tissue and cell tropism during the first trimester of pregnancy. Scientific reports, 35296. PMID: 27759009  

Quicke KM, Bowen JR, Johnson EL, McDonald CE, Ma H, O'Neal JT, Rajakumar A, Wrammert J, Rimawi BH, Pulendran B.... (2016) Zika Virus Infects Human Placental Macrophages. Cell host , 20(1), 83-90. PMID: 27247001  

Bayer A, Lennemann NJ, Ouyang Y, Bramley JC, Morosky S, Marques ET Jr, Cherry S, Sadovsky Y, & Coyne CB. (2016) Type III Interferons Produced by Human Placental Trophoblasts Confer Protection against Zika Virus Infection. Cell host , 19(5), 705-12. PMID: 27066743  

Ning F, Liu H, & Lash GE. (2016) The Role of Decidual Macrophages During Normal and Pathological Pregnancy. American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989), 75(3), 298-309. PMID: 26750089  

Lash GE, Pitman H, Morgan HL, Innes BA, Agwu CN, & Bulmer JN. (2016) Decidual macrophages: key regulators of vascular remodeling in human pregnancy. Journal of leukocyte biology, 100(2), 315-25. PMID: 26819320  

Olagnier D, Amatore D, Castiello L, Ferrari M, Palermo E, Diamond MS, Palamara AT, & Hiscott J. (2016) Dengue Virus Immunopathogenesis: Lessons Applicable to the Emergence of Zika Virus. Journal of molecular biology, 428(17), 3429-48. PMID: 27130436  

  • November 7, 2016
  • 03:13 AM
  • 382 views

8.6% of children with autism have epilepsy?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Epilepsy was reported to co-occur in 8.6 % of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] cases."That was the headline conclusion reported by Shiny Thomas and colleagues [1] as they drew on data from "the most recent U.S. National Survey of Children's Health, 2011-2012" to add to the extensive literature looking at how common epilepsy is when it comes to autism.Including some 1600 children/young adults diagnosed with autism - equivalent to a prevalence of 1.8% of the entire 85,000-strong co........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2016
  • 09:05 PM
  • 393 views

Obama invades Europe: “Yes, we can!”

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll This information was known by me and some other people for quite a while, but only recently has caught attention of the general public. Obama is the newest threat in Europe. No, I’m not talking about the … Continue reading →... Read more »

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